Jun 24, 2011


Argentina assists farmers affected by volcanic eurption



The head of the Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Nation, Norberto Yauhar decided to help fish farmers from Neuquén, Chubut and Río Negro, who suffered from the effects of the ash fall from the Chilean volcano Puyehue.


After meeting the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Nation, Julián Domínguez, Yahuar explained that they had agreed on helping fish farmers through the National Directorate of Agricultural Disaster and Emergency.


The sub-secretary requested the inclusion of the fishing area within the emergency declaration and that immediate assistance should be offered to fish farmers from Alicurá dam on the Limay River, in the northwestern region of Comahue, 100 kilometres from the city of Bariloche.


This reservoir holds the largest concentration of rainbow trout farms in the country, a resource that represents over 60% of the national aquaculture production.


According to El Cronista, 95% of the trout reared in floating cages in the reservoir are in danger as a result of the ashes from the volcano in Chile.


"The involvement is total," said Marcelo López, head of Aguas Claras company, one of the 10 rainbow trout producers in the reservoir.


According to preliminary calculations, the economic losses amount to ARS40 million (US$9.8 million).


López added, "We had a tremendous response from government agencies, from the National Health and Food Quality Service (Senasa) to the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Directorate of Aquaculture and other provincial agencies. The concern is that this aid should be sent in a timely manner."


Due tothe turbidity of the water, the trout cannot eat, and when the ashes containing solid abrasive material enter their gills, they find it hard to breathe.


According to López, there are already some trout specimens with choking symptoms.

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