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Experts To Help Resolve Salmon Industry Conflicts

CHILE - The national government is devoting itself to launching two important measures to regulate salmon farming sector health: Health Regulation for Aquaculture (RESA), which will be sent in March to the Comptroller, and the establishment of a panel of experts that will settle differences between companies regarding how production will be regulated.

The Subsecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) announced this week that it has appointed five members and an executive secretary. One candidate to lead the expert group is Jorge Claro, who made key reports for banks during the period of debt restructuring within the salmon industry. The panel should begin operations in April and will be a non-binding advisory tool, reports Diario Financiero.

According to José Miguel Burgos, head of the Department of Aquaculture at Subpesca, the new body will cover different topics: logistics, disease behavior, oceanography and economics. For treatment of more complex issues, the possibility of inviting external experts remains.

In addition, members will be required to have high academic profiles and experience in the manufacturing sector.

During 2011, the new panel of experts could review smoltification in lakes, estuaries and rivers, including three subjects. In the salmon industry there are differences on this issue. On the one hand, the Association for the Chilean Salmon Industry A.G. (SalmonChile) believe that they must do this process in estuaries, rivers or lakes, and fish should go to the sea. While Victor Hugo Puchi, president of the company AquaChile, and the Association for Producers of Coho Salmon and Trout A.G. (Acotruch) think otherwise. Another issue to be discussed is that of macro zones or "neighborhoods".

The Government claims that there is sufficient distance between each production area and offers around 22 macrozones in regions X, XI and XII. As for neighborhoods, its size should not exceed 15 km and the distance between sites would be five miles. In this regard, Burgos explained that this should not cause many changes in Magallanes (13 macrozones) and Los Lagos (four), but it will in Aysen because the three or four proposed macro zones would force the relocation of some concessions and manage the search for new sites, reports the newspaper La Tercera.

Finally, the panel will discuss the delivery of a technical bases for developing a score that measures the level of health risk in each neighborhood.

the Fish Site Editor

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