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Aquaculture Production in Chile Down 16 Per Cent

CHILE - Total fish and shellfish landings for the first nine months of 2009 were almost 10 per cent below the same period in the previous year. Harvests in all the main aquaculture sectors were also down.

Total fish and shellfish landings through September in Chile totalled 3.6 million tons – 9.8 per cent lower than the 3.9 million tons accumulated in the same period of 2008, the Fisheries Under-Secretariat (SUBPESCA) revealed.

Merco Press reports that, according to the latest Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Report, the wild capture fisheries and aquaculture sectors contributed some 3.1 million tons and 485,000 tons, respectively, to the total harvest in the first nine months of the year.

Aquaculture harvests

The aquaculture harvest totalled 438,900 tons through August, 16 per cent slide from the 522,500 tons harvested in the same period of 2008, reports by the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) reveal.

The main products harvested were Atlantic salmon, mussels and rainbow trout, accounting for 32.2, 31.2 and 19.7 per cent of total production at the national level, respectively. Regions X and XI harvested the highest total output: 282,200 tons and 128,200 tons, respectively.

The Atlantic salmon harvest totalled 141,500 tons through August – 28.4 per cent below the volume accumulated in the same period of 2008 (197,700 tons). Most of the production came from Regions XI (84,300 tons) and X (49,000 tons).

The mussel harvest, almost entirely produced by Region X, fell by 14.4 per cent from 160,000 tons through August 2008 to 137,000 tons during the same period this year.

Meanwhile, Pacific salmon harvests totalled 86,500 tons over the period, 5.3 per cent less than the 91,300 tons reported through August 2008. The majority of production originated from Regions X and XI, with 51,900 tons and 30,700 tons, respectively.

Wild fish landings

An estimated 63.2 per cent of wild fish landings consisted of pelagic resources, a slightly higher percentage than the 61.6 per cent registered last year. Jack mackerel, common sardine, and anchovy landings constituted 24.3 per cent, 22.7 per cent and 22.3 per cent, respectively, according to Merco Press.

Jointly, Regions V-X received the largest share of these landings in receiving 1.7 million tons or 73.8 per cent of the total. Further behind, Regions XV and II received 519,600 tons – 22.7 per cent of the total – while Regions III and IV registered 81,000 tons, representing 3.5 per cent of the total.

Southern hake accounted for 17,300 tons of demersal fish landings in the year through September, 5.3 per cent lower than the same period in 2008. The industrial fleet contributed the most (9,500 tons), followed by the 7,800 tons harvested by the artisanal fleet.

Common hake landings from January through September totalled 36,000 tons, 4.7 per cent decrease in volume over the same period of 2008, according to SUBPESCA. The industrial sector contributed 73.8 per cent of total landings, with 26.600 tons; and the artisanal sector, 9,400 tons.

Landings of Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass) registered 2,000 tons over the same period, a 14.2 per cent hike over the 1,800 tons landed in September 2008.

An estimated 4,100 tons of yellow shrimp, 2,600 tons of squat lobster and 1,700 tons of golden kingclip were landed through the first nine months of the year, 49.8 per cent boost over 2008, concludes the Merco Press report.

the Fish Site Editor

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