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Issue No:81
  • :0973–1121
  • :June
  • :2019

Samudra Report No.81, June 2019

Chile / Salmon Farming

Paradise Lost?

The hellish expansion of salmon farming in Chile’s Patagonia could threaten a hundred years of Chile-Norway relations

This article is by Juan Carlos Cárdenas Núñez (, Director of Ecocéanos, Santiago, Chile, and translated by Brian O’Riordan (, Deputy Director, The Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) (

It is said that if there is such a thing as a salmon farming heaven, it is in Norway; whilst if there is a hell, it is in Chile. The South American country displays the worst labour standards globally for this industry. Between July 2013 and January 2019, it killed 31 of its workers. Its sanitary and environmental records are abysmal, with an abusive use of antibiotic and anti-parasite treatments, a mega-crisis of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus, successive noxious and toxic algal blooms, massive dumping of dead fish into the sea and antifouling paints into lakes and rivers, along with the sinking of salmon well-boats, to name but a few of its problems.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway visited Chile in March 2019 in response to an invitation of the Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera, to commemorate 100 years of diplomatic relations between the...

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