Deregulation in the salmon industry increases episodes of contamination by harmful algae bloom, says Puerto Montt Medical College

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•    In the Los Lagos region, there would no longer be healthy and clean marine areas to compare them with contaminated areas.

•    «It is fundamental and urgent to create water bodies / conservation ecosystems that can serve as reference systems especially in the Los Lagos region (…) It is necessary to review «the public policies that have to be adopted from the point of view of the State to be able to regulate, limit or practically eliminate certain salmon concessions in fjords such as the Comau, which has very high risk hypoxia levels,» says the Medical College.


Puerto Montt, Los Lagos region, Chile, April 30, 2021. (radiodelmar.cl) – Puerto Montt Medical College (COLMED), through its Department of the Environment, assured that “there is clear scientific evidence that, although it does not blame salmon farming itself, it does establish that its deregulation is the one that fosters an unusual increase in this harmful blooming of algae ”, referring to the environmental tragedy in the Comau Fjord where there has been a massive mortality of salmon as a result of this nocive algal bloom.

This is stated in a report published this thursday by the Medical College in the main region where the salmon industry operates in Chile.

The COLMED gives a series of recommendations to face these repeated episodes of contamination generated in a regions where the salmon industry control the coastal areas in southern Chile. «Los Lagos region and Chilean Patagonia are going through a process of anthropogenic degradation of marine ecosystems that, against a background of global warming, is generating a series of ecological problems that further increase the phenomenon”.

“These dynamic interactions are generating the appearance of diseases that affect the flora and fauna in the sea, and that have the potential to negatively affect human health and the important economic activities of the region ”, says the report prepared by doctors Augusto Matamala Bezmalinovic and Matias Garrido Valenzuela.

According to Dr. Matamala, coordinator of the Regional Department of the Environment, the document addresses the origin and conditions that favor this phenomenon, together with a proposal of actions for public policy decision-making. «What are the public policies that have to be adopted from the point of view of the State to be able to regulate, limit or practically eliminate certain concessions in fjords such as Comau, which has very high risk hypoxia levels,» said the professional.

Medical College: Is urgent to establish integrated, public and transparent enviromental monitoring in 8 vulnerable fjords ecosystems

The document also calls for more research, especially in sensitive areas of the fjords in the Los Lagos Region where healthy and clean marine areas no longer exist to compare with contaminated areas. «It is fundamental and urgent to create bodies of water / conservation ecosystems that can serve as reference systems especially in the Los Lagos region, also in the Aysén region», says the Medical College.

COLMED affirms that it is «urgent to establish integrated, public, transparent environmental monitoring with excellent dissemination» including oceanographic variables and taking into account accumulated biomass, measurement of pesticides and antibiotics, number of fish stocked, among other measurements” .

Doctors urge to begin with the studies in the following fjords: Estuary and Seno de Reloncavi, Llancahue-Comau,  Quemchi- Mechuque, central area of the inland sea;  Puyuhuapi, Fiordo Aysén,  Cupquelan / Quitralco, Tortel and Skyring