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Salmon farmers urged to change tack to preserve Patagonian lakes

CHILE - The findings of a WWF study, released today, show that the production of farmed salmon in Chile's unique Patagonian lakes has doubled in the last decade. And the industry is contaminating the water sources with nutrient pollution, invasive species, disease and harmful chemicals.

Moving farmed salmon from freshwater lakes to land-based closed systems would reduce environmental pressures.

The study - Salmon Farming in the Lakes of Southern Chile: History, Tendencies, and Environmental Impacts - urges the Chilean industry to move farmed salmon out of freshwater ecosystems to closed-containment recirculation systems on land.

"These lakes are a global treasure and pollution from salmon farming is completely avoidable," said David Tecklin, WWF's representative in Chile.

"Chile has become the world's second largest producer of farmed salmon, but the industry must rapidly improve its environmental practices if it expects to survive in the global marketplace," he added.

Moving farmed salmon from freshwater lakes to land-based closed systems would reduce environmental pressures and increase Chile's competitiveness in the global salmon trade. The majority of salmon consumed in the US, for example, is farmed, and the bulk of it comes from Chile.

Click here to read the report.

the Fish Site Editor

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