Millionaire fine for salmon company contaminating lake in southern Chile

ECOCEANOS: Expansión de la Salmonicultura Industrial no puede poner en peligro 100 Años de relaciones entre Chile y Noruega
March 8, International Women’s Day: Salmon workers demand their rights

The Supreme Court of Chile imposed a 73,000 dollar fine on the salmon company Camanchaca after proving that the Chilean company contaminated the submarine area of its salmon farming centers in Lake Llanquihue with plastic, meshes, rubber and workwear. The judges also fined the manager of Camanchaca for 7,300 USD.

This is one of the highest fines for contamination being sentenced by the Chilean state to one of the «untouchable» salmon companies. Centro Ecocéanos and the coastal communities of the lake complained that the fine is irrelevant in comparison to the 44 million USD earned by Salmones Camanchaca S.A. in 2018 – an increase in turnover by 39% from the year before.

Camanchaca exports 24% of its production to the Russian market and is registered on the Oslo Stock Exchange, Norway. The company generated great attention among the inhabitants of the island of Chiloé in 2017 when its well-boat «Seikongen» sank while transporting 200 tonne of salmon. The vessel was left below water for 10 months in an area of great coastal biodiversity, without authorities intervening despite wide disapproval among citizen organisations and local communities, opposing the dumping of the contaminating burden in the sea and its adjacent areas.

Traducción: Isak Falk-Eliasson