The chilean salmon industry says goodbye to 2021 with the death of two workers in Patagonia

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 Ecoceanos Centre: «the cause of these third-world mortalities in the Chilean salmon industry lies in job insecurity, outsourcing of diving work through subcontractors, and the permissibility and lack of supervision of the Chilean State».


Puerto Cisne, Aysen region. January 1, 2022 (radiodelmar.cl) – The salmon industry that operates in Chilean Patagonia said goodbye to 2021 with two tragic events that mourn salmon workers. It is the death of two workers who were working for aquaculture companies in remote areas where these companies are expanding geographically and productively.

To the death of a diving supervisor stabbed by a co-worker in the Magallanes Region, the death of diver Cristián González was added in mid-December 16, who died inside a salmon farming center located 30 minutes from Puerto Cisnes, Aysén region, after being trapped between the propellers of a boat.

On December 7, the first fatal event occurred when the crew of the Siviano ship, which provides services to the salmon industry, decided to go ashore to have a barbecue. On the occasion the workers ate and drank alcohol. The fatal event would have been generated after supervisor Felipe Mancilla reminded diver Javier Osses that the next day he was to work. This would have upset the diver, sparking the deadly brawl.

In the case of the second death in December, according to information from the local press, after several days of searching, in a search that exceeded 90 meters in depth, the Special Police Operations Group (GOPE) in coordination with the Prosecutor’s Office and the support of the Maritime Authority, the body of diver Cristian Gonzalez was recovered. The work was carried out under the hull of the boat, which was located in a sector that is about 95 meters deep.

Ecoceanos Centre: In Chile there is a world record of deaths of workers and divers in the global salmon industry

Ecoceanos Centre pointed out that “this is the six death of a diver in a salmon farming center during 2021 in Chilean Patagonia, and the 68rd victim of workers in this export mega-industry between 2013 and 2021, which points to Chile as the country with the world record for occupational mortalities in the global salmon industry ”.

Divers Union of Chile: New elected authorities to take charge of this reality

Claudio Faúndez, president of the National Divers Union of Chile, pointed out that this event shows the abandonment of Chilean diving by the authorities. Faúndez called on divers to organize themselves to strengthen themselves as a union and make visible the precariousness of diving in Chile, so that all the deaths of their fellow workers are not forgotten. Likewise, he urged the newly elected authorities to take charge of this reality.

Ecoceanos Centre pointed out that «the cause of these third-world mortalities in the Chilean salmon industry lies in job insecurity, outsourcing of diving work through subcontractors, and the permissibility and lack of supervision of the Chilean State» by or which called on international consumers to find out about the true environmental and labor costs of the so-called “blood salmon from Chilean Patagonia”.

See: https://www.ecoceanos.cl/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SalmonesDeSangre-Ecoceanos-27mayo2019.pdf