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Looting Is A Major Problem For Chilean Businesses

CHILE - The National Fisheries Sector (SONAPESCA) met yesterday to hold a preliminary assessment of damage from the earthquake and tsunami.

After meeting with Guild executives, Sonapesca General Manager, Hector Bacigalupo said 50 per cent of industry facilities in the Bio Bio region were free of damage. This included processing plants, warehouses, unloading facilities and offices.

While Mr Bacigalupo said it was too soon to determine what effect this incident will have on the industry's production, it should be noted that 50 per cent of production and catch quotas in the sector comes from the affected area, ie about 1 million tonnes of mackerel.

He said that one of the major problems had been looting, highlighting that yesterday more than 50 tons of fish meal was stolen in what he called "an organised movement".

Once electricity returns to the affected areas, the true impact of the earthquake will be known - as businesses will be able to tell whether machinery is still running.

Mr Bacigalupo added that once electricity is back, it is estimated it will take 30 days to start normal operations.

the Fish Site Editor

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