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Weekly Overview: Marine Harvest, AquaChile Merger Aims to Improve Salmon Farming Sustainability

Salmonids Eels Sustainability +5 more

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, Marine Harvest is to merge its Chilean salmon farming operations with Empresas AquaChile, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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The merged entity, which will be called AquaChile, is expected to have a production capacity of approximately 260,000 tons GWT of salmon and 25,000 tons WFE of Tilapia.

From 15 June 2016 until 15 June 2017, Marine Harvest will have the option to acquire further shares in AquaChile through a tender offer that at a minimum will give Marine Harvest an ownership interest of 55 per cent.

Mr Victor Hugo Puchi will remain as Chairman of the combined entity and will lead the current management teams through the merger and business combination process.

Marine Harvest Chairman Ole-Eirik Lerøy said: "The merger between AquaChile and Marine Harvest Chile is in line with Marine Harvest's strategy of forming a world leading integrated protein group. Our already strong position within salmon farming in Chile will be further strengthened and the combination of these excellent companies will form a very efficient Chilean entity that also will benefit the entire Chilean industry from a sustainability point of view. The Board believes that such a strategy will provide significant operational benefits, as well as improving and stabilising the long term earnings for the Group."

The Philippines Department of Agriculture has announced that it will be working with local eel growers to develop the country's eel export market.

Secretary Proceso Alcala recently met with farmers to discuss initial plans on how to further develop the glass eel industry. Despite there being a big demand for glass eels, farmers currently do not produce enough to meet required volumes for export.

The government is pursuing the formation of an association whereby farmers work together to meet the required volumes for export.

In Spain, there has been positive reaction to a new law that will fight illegal fishing. The new law will impose stronger penalties on Spanish citizens involved in pirate fishing anywhere in the world.

Finally, more than 15 corporate industry leaders, investors, and philanthropists, including Pentair, CEI, Google Oceans Program, and RSF Social Finance, have joined together to launch the new Fish 2.0 business competition this week.

Fish 2.0 offers seafood businesses an opportunity to gain visibility, find strategic partners, and ultimately garner new investments in the range of $100,000 to over $10 million.