Chile Volcano Osorno
Chile Volcano Osorno

At the beginning of 2019, we took the opportunity to visit salmon farming operations in the Chilean summer.

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).

Mainly Atlantic Salmon is produced, but Salmon Trout (Steelhead) and Coho are farmed as well and are favoured by some consumers around the world

PS: Steelhead starts its life out as a Rainbow Trout. Once the Rainbow Trout manages to migrate to the ocean, it becomes a Steelhead.

Hatchery overview II
Hatchery overview II

This time, we visited the operations of Salmones Camanchaca 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

  1. hatchery,
  2. grow out sites, and the
  3. value added production facility
The Tanks II Hatchery
The Tanks II Hatchery

Salmones Camanchaca have faced a hard hit in 2015, when a volcano outbreak had covered the Hatchery in Petrohue in a one meter high layer of ash.

The hatchery was almost destroyed, but 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 asked them why they are rebuilding the hatchery at the same place, since there is risk of a new outbreak. The answer was simple; there are more than 200o Volcanos in Chile. It does not really matter where you are, access to fresh water is more important.

Wonderful Bay Chiloe Island

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 there’s a rough sea and the waves are so high, that not even boats are allowed by the authorities to leave the harbor anymore.

The cages IIThe cages II

Below, you see a picture of my colleague Martin Janser (on the right) and myself to the left.

Bonafide on the farm site
Bonafide on the farm site

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 did not seem to scare the locals too much and that 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 frightened and our stomachs felt queasy.

When reflecting on this event the following days, we both felt a lot of respect for the locals and the way they handled 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:

  1. Do you know how much progress the Chilenean farming sector has done the last decade?
  2. What do you know about good fish farm infrastructure?
  3. Have you ever tasted Salmon from different countries at the same time?
  4. Could you feel/smell any difference?
Check out our Gallery for more pictures.

 

1. Chile Report: Salmon Farming
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