Multiexport is closing its operations in the lakes of southern Chile
Osorno court condemns Multiexport Foods subsidiary for contaminating Rupanco Lake
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 22:30 (GMT + 9)
The Court considers that the damages caused to hydrobiological resources and the environment are of serious quality, taking into account other described aquaculture elements, which lie at the bottom of the lake.
The Second Court of Osorno condemned the company Multiexport Pacific Farms S.A. (subsidiary of Multiexport Foods SA)
, to the payment of a fine of 300 UTM and its legal representative, to the payment of 10 UTM, after the court accepted the complaint lodged by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service
(SERNAPESCA), which argued that after an audit of the farming center - delivered in concession to the company - contamination was found at Lake Rupanco, in the commune of Puerto Octay, product of the aquaculture activity developed by the accused.
The monthly tax unit (UTM) is a unit of account used in Chile for tax purposes and fines, updated according to inflation. It is paid or charged in Chilean pesos
The Court established the responsibility of the aquaculture company, which according to the audit report submitted by the public entity it had been observed that "the whitish bottoms represent layers of unconsumed fish food that accumulate progressively in the lake fund; in this way, the bottom becomes inert since no worms grow beneath it. This gives an account of low oxygen, typical of contaminated bodies of water products of aquaculture activity."
Second Court of Osorno. (Photo: riobuenonoticias.cl)
In this regard, the ruling states that "in response to the foregoing, it is clear that the company that owns the Multiexport Pacific Farms SA audited concession violated Articles 74 and 87 of the General Fisheries and Aquaculture Law in relation to Article 4 of the Regulations Environmental for Aquaculture DS N ° 320/2001 of the Ministry of Economy, as SERNAPESCA inspection officials noted the presence of aquaculture residues such as capes (whips in the background), dead with ropes and whips, white plastic bucket, presence of whitefish mantles, pieces of light blue PCV, presence of unconsumed food, polyethylene bags, as evidenced in the documentary evidence of the complainant who rolls page 1."
The resolution adds that "this judge considers that the damages caused to hydrobiological resources and the environment are of serious quality, also taking into account other elements described typical of aquaculture, which lie at the bottom of the lake. Without prejudice, it will be taken into consideration to determine the amount of the fine to impose the reasoning in the 10th recital, since it was deemed credited that the offender took measures to mitigate pollution in the lacustrine fund of his concession, which were not sufficient."
After hearing the conviction of the Second Court of Osoro, Multiexport Foods released the following statement:
"Following the resolution of the Second Court of Osorno on our subsidiary Multiexport Pacific Farms SA, we want to specify that it is due to a specific situation, detected in December 2018 at our concession in Lake Rupanco, during a regular process of inspection of the state of lake bottom cleaning.
"The situation does not reflect the usual behavior and was immediately remedied by company equipment. The resolution itself recognizes the efforts made by the company to clean the lake bottom.
"It should be noted that the company is closing its operations in the lakes of southern Chile, which will be completed during 2020."