We took the opportunity at the beginning of 2019 to visit in the Chilean summer salmon farming operations.
Chile is producing around 30% of the world production of Salmon.
Chiles salmon farming operations are in the Region X, XI, XII – Chilean regions are similar to states or provinces in many countries around the world (read more here and view map).
PS: Steelhead starts its life out as a Rainbow Trout. Once the Rainbow Trout manages to migrate to the ocean, it becomes a Steelhead.
We have been visiting the operations of Salmones Camanchaca this time during our trip to Chile.
We started our trip in Puerto Montt. The city is about 1000 km south of Santiago. It represents the heart of the salmon farming operations in Chile.
We looked at the
- grow out sites, and the
- value added production facility
Salmones Camanchaca have faced a hard hit in 2015. A volcano outbreak has covered the Hatchery in Petrohue with a cover of ash, 1 meter high.
The hatchery was almost destroyed. Since then, everything has been rebuilt.
We visited a new hatchery. It was designed for using Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS). It allows the company Salmones Camanchaca to produce 12 million smolts each year.
We have been asking why they are rebuilding at the same place the hatchery because of the risk of a new outbreak. The answer was simple. There are more then 200o Volcanos in Chile. It does not really depend where you are. More important is fresh water access.
The next day we travelled 4 hours by car to Castro (Chiloe island) to visit the biggest and best farming site of the company.
Here the company implemented an automated feeding system. It allows to feed the fish even when we have a rough sea and with higher waves.
To understand what this means, when boats are no longer allowed by the authorities to leave the harbor.
The cages II
Below you see a picture of my colleague Martin Janser (on the right) and myself to the left.
Back in Santiago we had the chance to experience a somewhat unusual experience for people visiting from Europe.
Saturday evening around 22:30 hours an earthquake happened. At the time we were in our hotel rooms. The experience was a bit scary.
Everything started to shake for around 30 seconds. The earthquake was measured at 6.7 using the Richter magnitude of an earthquake. Annually about 100 of this strong type of earthquakes are being registered worldwide.
Once we saw that this not scare the locals too much, people were back on the streets, we also decided to go out.
After having been out on the town we went back to our rooms but had difficulty falling asleep. We were a bit scared and our stomachs felt queasy.
When reflecting the next few days, we both felt respect for the locals and how they seemed to manage this situation.
Watch our short video clip below
What is your opinion? Join the conversation
We were again very impressed with what was shown to the Bonafide team in Chile. The new hatchery impressed us. Also the value added plant with the new fast lines for producing finished products was impressive (see the video above for an illustration) .
But what we are interested in is to hear from you:
- Do you know how much progress the Chilenean farming sector has done the last decade?
- What do you know about good fish farm infrastructure?
- Have you ever tasted Salmon from different countries at the same time?
- Could you feel/smell any difference?