Chilean Parliament will discuss the exit of the Salmon Industry from Protected Areas

Salida de Industria Salmonera de Áreas Protegidas será discutida en Parlamento chileno
Industria salmonera despide el 2021 con dos muertes de trabajadores en la Patagonia
  • Draft Law is driven by the declaration of the 62 organized society and indigenous communities of Chiloe, Aysen and Magallanes, Southern Chile, that demand that the salmon industry leave all fragile ecosystems, including lakes, fjords and canals.
  • Southern legislators in silence: «If the parliamentarians in our area have nothing to say, not even include their signature, it means that we are not represented as communities, they are representing the interests of the industry,» they say in Patagonia.
  • Ecoceanos Centre supports the draft law and calls to demand that the salmon farms not be relocated, to demand their expiration due to massive mortality, escape of fish and due to the anaerobic condition of the water column and the seabed.

Valparaiso, November 23, 2021 ( – The organization and mobilization of coastal and indigenous communities and organized society is encouraging the Chilean parliament to begin discussing a draft law that seeks to prohibit the issuance of new permits for to cultivate industrial salmon in the wild areas protected by the State, and to establish a deadline for the exit of the salmon farming centers located in these conservation areas of the coastal marine ecosystems.

The legislative proposal, presented this Wednesday (11/18/2021), just before the parliamentary and presidential elections, seeks to «exclude the cultivation of exotic hydrobiological species in State Protected Areas» and is aimed directly at the salmon industry that continues its aggressive geographic and productive expansion throughout Patagonia.

The curious thing is that no deputy from those regions, Aysén and Magallanes, and not even the presidential candidate Gabriel Boric, representative of Magellan / Patagonia region in Parliament, appear signing or pronouncing on this demand from local communities, social organizations and the environmental world.

The bill was presented by the president of the Fishing and Aquaculture Commission of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, Jorge Brito, and was based on a previous declaration of 62 organizations and communities that demands: «No more delivery of new concessions, no more expansion of current aquaculture concessions or increase in biomass in existing concessions, as well as the urgent exit of all fragile and vulnerable marine ecosystems such as lakes, fjords and canals «.

Now, organizations and communities show their support for this initiative, but maintain their demand for the salmon industry to leave all the territories of both indigenous peoples and the places where it has generated environmental, health and social disasters.

When presenting the bill, Deputy Brito stated that “salmon farming has been accompanied by a degradation of marine ecosystems and, especially, of the seabed. That is why it is a contradiction that the State recognizes the fragility of some ecosystems, as occurs in southern Patagonia, and at the same time authorizes the operation of industries that degrade ecosystems ”.

Patagonian indigenous communities continue to demand the exit of salmon farms not only from Wild Protected Areas

Leticia Caro, from the Kawesqar «Nómades del Mar» community, told that this bill «is an advance, but our communities have always demanded that the salmon industry not only leave the Protected Areas by the State, but also that they leave all our territories, our ancestral space that we defend as native peoples. »

Meanwhile from Tierra del Fuego, David Alday, from the communities of the Yagan people, affirmed that their «position as an original Yagan people, as a coastal people, has always been ‘No to salmon farms’ in the protected areas or anywhere, because They are extractivist companies that do not respect the environment, they do not respect the communes where they enter, they do not talk and we have had a lot of those examples, which are installed at night and the next day people see the salmon farming facilities with surprise, such as It happened in Puyuhuapi. They have criminal practices, and that worries. »

For her part, the representative of Fundación Elemental Nature, Ximena Schott, pointed out that «we see this progress in the exit of salmon farming from Protected Areas as a first step, but we are going to keep mobilizing and we are going to continue studying and we are going to continue presenting scientific evidence of the damage that salmon farming causes persistently and has caused in all our ecosystems, territories and in our way of life, because this has affected three regions (Los Lagos, Aysén and Magallanes), for 40 years «.


Reserva Nacional Kawésqar. Foto: patagoniaplanet


Salmon silence of parliamentarians from Patagonia

Regarding the electoral political moment and the evident absence of parliamentarians from Patagonia in this bill, from Puerto Natales, Leticia Caro, from the Kawesqar people told that «the curious thing is that no deputy from Aysén, nor from Magallanes appears signing this initiative, which is a demand of the coastal communities, social organizations, tourism enterprises and indigenous peoples. Not even the presidential candidate, Gabriel Boric, who is a deputy for Magallanes, nor the candidate Karim Bianchi, sign or speak for this initiative «.

From the communities of the Yagan people, they also spoke out. David Alday of the Yagan communities, pointed out that they were surprised that «no parliamentarian from the region has signed, and that is why we have deputies who see the salmon industry as a great industry, but we cannot rely solely on numbers. Today the planet is asking for a change in the economy and the protection of what surrounds us, and that is not done by the industry, «said Alday.

«We demand that the regional authorities make their relationship with the salmon industry transparent and explain why they did not sign this bill,» declared the indigenous representative Yagan.

The bill was presented just 5 days before the presidential and parliamentary elections. But the parliamentary initiative does not bear the signature of any deputy from Aysén or Magallanes.

Faced with this, Ximena Schott, from Elemental Nature, expressed her concern about the silence of the parliamentarians of Aysén and Magallanes, who in the face of this reality «have nothing to say about the brutal impacts that salmon farming has caused in our regions, and that is a situation that must be made clear today a few hours before the presidential and parliamentary elections in our country. »

«If the parliamentarians in our area, our three regions, have nothing to say, not even include their signature, and support this bill, it means that we are not represented as communities, they are representing the interests of the industry,» said the member of Elemental Nature.

When the Chilean State destroys the Protected Areas of the State….

In January 2019, the decree for the creation of the Kawesqar National Reserve, Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica was signed. However, evidencing the true role played by the political, bureaucratic, and business coalition that controls the Chilean State, in less than three years 69 new industrial salmon monoculture concessions have been authorized in its inland waters, and more than 100 are in the process of being approved.

Ecoceanos Centre: Citizen alert to prevent “relocations” of salmon concessions that leave the State Protected Areas

Ecoceanos Centre pointed out before the presentation of the bill that “social organizations, coastal communities and indigenous people must be alert, in order to monitor the progress of this citizen demand that seeks to eliminate all intensive salmon farming concessions based on carnivorous species. exotic in the protected areas of our country ”.

The citizen organization indicated that «these aquaculture concessions granted within protected areas may not be relocated, nor may applications be submitted with the purpose of expanding the area granted, or increasing the level of maximum authorized production.»

It is necessary to ensure that among the causes for the expiration of aquaculture concessions granted within protected areas, “situations such as a mortality event and escapes that are massive in nature, incurring for once in an anaerobic condition of the column, are contemplated. of water and seabed, as well as having been sanctioned in accordance with the final paragraph of article 113, paragraph 1 of article 118, or for any of the offenses listed in article 118 Ter of the General Law of Fisheries and Aquaculture » Ecoceanos said.