Santiago, May 20th, 2021. (radiodelmar.cl) – The prestigious «Science» magazine published a letter from researchers from the Austral University of Chile that faced the serious pollution episodes that occurred in areas where salmon companies operate in the south of Chile, demanding that the expansion of this industry stop, and ask international consumers to pressure so that the country protects its Patagonian ecosystems. They also invite to «take advantage of» the current process of creating a new Constitution in the country as an «opportunity to add regulations that stop the (salmon) cycle».
The letter signed by Juan G. Navedo and Luis Vargas-Chacoff, academics at the Austral University of Chile, was published on May 14, 2021, just one day before the mega-elections in Chile, in which the people who will write a new Constitution for the country were chosen.
The letter also suggests that the United Nations should pressure the Chilean government to stop the current expansion of the salmon industry towards southern latitudes, especially in the Magallanes region, one of the last strongholds of Patagonian nature.
«The international community, which serves as a market for Chilean salmon, can harness its economic power to convince Chile to take actions in order to protect this unique biodiversity hotspot from the environmental effects of salmon aquaculture,» the letter says.
Navedo and Vargas Chacoff’s letter in “Science” magazine states that “Pacific Patagonia remained mostly pristine until the 1980s. The region served as one of the last thriving blue whale territories and provided non-breeding habitat for long-distance migratory shorebirds that breed as far away as Alaska. Salmon aquaculture notably changed this vast coastal landscape from the Chiloe Archipelago to Tierra del Fuego, affecting even remote channels without any prior sign of human activity other than indigenous cultures». Ecoceanos is cited in the references with respect to the impacts of this new sanitary-environmental disaster caused by the mega expansion of the salmón industry in Chilean waters.