Salmon Virus Indicts Chile’s Fishing Methods

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Alexei Barrionuevo


03/27/2008 - Looking out over the low green mountains jutting through miles of placid waterways here in southern Chile, it is hard to imagine that anything could be amiss. But beneath the rows of neatly laid netting around the fish farms just off the shore, the salmon are dying.

A virus called infectious salmon anemia, or I.S.A., is killing millions of salmon destined for export to Japan, Europe and the United States. The spreading plague has sent shivers through Chile’s third-largest export industry, which has left local people embittered by laying off more than 1,000 workers.

It has also opened the companies to fresh charges from biologists and environmentalists who say that the breeding of salmon in crowded underwater pens is contaminating once-pristine waters and producing potentially unhealthy fish.

Some say the industry is raising its fish in ways that court disaster, and producers are coming under new pressure to change their methods to preserve southern Chile’s cobalt blue waters for tourists and other marine life.

Read the full article Salmon Virus Indicts Chile’s Fishing Methods on the New York Times' Web site.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Salmon Aquaculture Reform campaign.

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