Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Quake Affects Small Scale Fishermen And Transport

Salmonids Economics +2 more

CHILE - An estimated 1,000 boats close to the shore were destroyed by the earthquake last weekend.

According to the Associated Press there will be no fishing season for some producers in Chile.

The quake that hit on Saturday has left behind damaged fleets and ports and couldn't have hit the salmon industry at a worse time.

The three to four month fishing season was just starting for 760 small-scale fishermen in Talacahuano.

This region produced four per cent of world's annual catch of seafood, some two million metric tonnes.

The majority of Chile's salmon industry has escaped major damage as it lies hundreds of kilometers south of Talcahuano, however the sector's transportation chain has been thrown into a crisis.

Fresh salmon must be driven in refrigerated trucks for 900 kilometers (560 miles) along the now damaged road to the airport in Santiago to be loaded onto cargo planes flying to the US and elsewhere.

The airport, meanwhile, hasn't reopened to commercial flights.

Some Chilean salmon suppliers are trying to set up a trucking route to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kimberly Gorton, president of Boston-based seafood distributor Slade Gorton & Company Inc told The Associated Press. But that route is twice as long, and trucks would have to navigate high mountain passes.

Still, no one knows how long it will take to repair all the damaged bridges and highway pavement on Chile's highway.

"Clearly what's going to happen is a reduction in supply is going to cause an increase in prices," Ms Gorton said. "It's sad because Chile is so dependent on its fishing industry for exports."