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Salmon Farming Threat to Whales

UK - Salmon farming off the coast of Chile is threatening the nursery grounds of the blue whale.

The warning was issued by marine biologist and conservationist Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete who this week received a prestigious Whitley Foundation award. The feeding and nursery area for the whales was discovered five years ago off Chiloé island, near the Corcovado Gulf, in Northern Patagonia, Chile, the London Daily Telegraph reports. And Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete said during the awards ceremony at the National Geographic Society in London that these waters of Northern Patagonia are under threat from Chilean salmon farming. The Telegraph said that Dr Hucke-Gaete, who was presented with a £60,000 gold award by the Whitley Foundation, told the award ceremony that the salmon farms, often financed by investors from the northern hemisphere, were expanding southwards down the coast of Chile into the area which is also a refuge for humpback whales. He said that the expansion of the salmon industry brings the threat of collisions with nets, also increased debris – whether nets, ropes or plastic bags – which are floating where the whales are feeding.

View the Telegraph story by clicking here.