600,000 salmon loaded with antibiotics escape into the wild

Chilean fishermen are working…to recover hundreds of thousands of salmon that escaped from a fish farm as environmentalists warned of possible risks if they are eaten by humans…

A storm on July 6 damaged nine enclosures at Marine Harvest’s Punta Redonda Center near the southern city of Calbuco, freeing at least 600,000 salmon into the wild, the company said.

Local fishermen are working with Marine Harvest, one of the world’s largest salmon producers, to recover the salmon and had captured about 30,000 by Thursday, the firm said. Under Chilean law, the company has 30 days to recover the fish.

Some of the salmon had been injected with a course of antibiotics that was incomplete at the time of their escape, making them unfit for human consumption and prompting concern by environmental groups that the fish will make it into the food chain too early.

Don’t worry. Be happy! So says Marine Harvest LLC. They probably plug the location into a stock disclaimer of disaster press release. They are – after all – a global giant operating facilities in 25 countries. Think they’re concerned more about the effects of antibiotic-dosed fish loose in the wild or missing profits from the eventual sale of those salmon for a family meal?

5 thoughts on “600,000 salmon loaded with antibiotics escape into the wild

  1. Pescadero says:

    “Chile’s salmon farms may use more antibiotics than any other meat industry. That’s a big problem.” https://oceana.org/blog/chile%E2%80%99s-salmon-farms-may-use-more-antibiotics-any-other-meat-industry-%E2%80%99s-big-problem “why is Chile using so many antibiotics in the first place? It’s because the country’s salmon are under assault from a hemorrhagic bacterial disease known as piscirickettsiosis. The main weapon against this epidemic is florfenicol, a common veterinary antibiotic used to treat animals as diverse as fish, chicken and cattle. Several studies suggest that florfenicol-resistant bugs are widespread in and near Chile’s salmon farms. Florfenicol resistance might not sound scary. After all, humans usually don’t take veterinary drugs. But DNA sequences that protect against one antibiotic can be interlinked with genes that protect against other drugs as well. Florfenicol-resistant bacteria, for example, can withstand antimicrobials used in humans, including one that’s a last-resort treatment for multidrug-resistant infections.”
    2016: “A deadly algal bloom has hit the world’s second biggest salmon exporter, Chile, where nearly 23 million fish have already died and the economic impact from lost production is seen soaring to $800 million, industry and government sources told Reuters.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-salmon-idUSKCN0WC0A2
    p/s: the fish in the image used to illustrate this story don’t look like salmon, which have a distinctive jaw and lack the whisker-like sensory organs (barbels) that can been seen near the mouths of what’s pictured – most likely carp or catfish.

    • Fischoeder says:

      “Are Chile’s industrial salmon farms changing the seas?
      Some indigenous Chileans believe the farms are killing off marine life and also threatening their communities’ future.” https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/chile-industrial-salmon-farms-changing-seas-191110182531076.html
      Chile’s salmon industry grew up quickly. In just a few decades, it went from being a small-scale producer to being a global player. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows Chile exported 850,000 tonnes of salmon to 100 countries in 2018.
      Chile exports more fish than Norway, a country revered around the globe for its salmon. While the industry was nearly nonexistent some 30 years ago, more than 21,000 Chileans owe their livelihoods to the pink fish today, according to the National Statistics Institute of Chile.
      “Atlantic salmon isn’t a native Chilean species; therefore, it isn’t the same to farm it in Norway as in Chile,” said Estefania Gonzalez, oceans campaigns coordinator at Greenpeace Chile.
      Atlantic salmon in Chile is bred in fish farms, where vast amounts of fish are crammed into football-field-sized enclosures, and chemicals are used to keep fish yields high.
      “To produce [Atlantic salmon] in Chile, the same company may use up to 700 times more antibiotics than in Norway,” Gonzalez told Al Jazeera.
      And while the fish may be penned in ocean-based farms, the water is not contained. It flows in and out of the enclosures, dispersing chemicals and other salmon byproducts, which is having surprising consequences. The increase in the levels of antibiotics in seawater is leading to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can infect humans, according to research by Universidad Austral de Chile. [Injudicious and excessive use of antibiotics: public health and salmon aquaculture in Chile].
      Meanwhile, an unnaturally high concentration of Atlantic salmon droppings is negatively impacting the surrounding area. A combination of antibiotics and salmon droppings is lethal to marine life in areas near fish farms, according to Greenpeace.
      See “Reviews in Aquaculture” (May 2019) “Special Issue on Salmon farming in Chile: key ecological and socioeconomic issues and challenges for the sustainable development of the sector” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/17535131/2019/11/2

  2. Cassandra says:

    Global Maritime boss: In ten years there’ll be offshore farms in every salmon country https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2018/06/19/global-maritime-boss-in-ten-years-therell-be-offshore-farms-in-every-salmon-country/
    Why Washington State Is Phasing Out Atlantic Salmon Farming : the move will bring an end to three decades of non-native fish farming in the region (Smithsonian) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/washington-state-bans-atlantic-salmon-farming-180968600/ The move comes eight months after the failure of a commercial net pen—a large underwater enclosure used to contain farmed fish. According to the state’s investigation of the incident, between 243,000 and 263,000 fish of the 305,000 in the pen escaped as a result of the net collapse. As of January, only 57,000 had been recovered.

  3. Doomsurfer says:

    “Net loss: the high price of salmon farming : The salmon has always been a barometer for the health of the planet. Now industrial-scale farming is bringing pollution, plagues of sea lice and threatening the future of wild salmon.” https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/sep/15/net-loss-the-high-price-of-salmon-farming
    “Washington State’s Great Salmon Spill and the Environmental Perils of Fish Farming” (2017) https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/washington-states-great-salmon-spill-and-the-environmental-perils-of-fish-farming

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