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One of the charges is considered as very serious.

SMA initiates sanctioning process against Nova Austral for environmental breaches

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Thursday, August 22, 2019, 04:00 (GMT + 9)

The Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) reports that it has initiated four sanction proceedings against the Nova Austral salmon farm for environmental breaches detected in four farming centers in Magallanes: Aracena 10, Aracena 19, Cockburn 14 and Cockburn 23. All these centers are located inside the Alberto de Agostini National Park.

In this case, sectoral complaints of Sernapesca were considered, as well as environmental inspections carried out by professionals of said service, of the Conaf, Directemar and the SMA, all from the Magallanes Region.



The SMA points out that in the Aracena 10, Cockburn 14 and Cockburn 23 Salmon Fattening Centers, overproduction was detected, which could have affected the marine environment, confirming anaerobic conditions. This infraction was preliminary described as serious.

“This type of findings not only consists in a manifest breach of its Environmental Qualification Resolutions (RCA), but because the biological load capacity in a farming center is directly affected by the volume of production: the greater the volume, the greater the amount of feed that is supplied to the fish and greater the amount of feces that they produce, which entails an increase of nutrients in the water and consequently an increase of microorganisms that feed on these nutrients, the proliferation of algae, and definitively, the decrease in oxygen,” explains the head of the Sanctions and Enforcement Division, Sebastián Riestra.

In the case of the Aracena 10 center, a charge was also made for mishandling of waste from the activity, resulting in the presence of waste of various kinds in the seabed beneath the concession, preliminary classified as mild.

In the Aracena 19 center, the following charges were filed:

  1. Inadequate mortality management
  2. Inadequate solid waste management.
  3. Presence of an opening in the safety parapet of the silage platform, with the consequent risk of runoff of substances to the aqueous medium.
  4. Not having the necessary equipment to comply with the Contingency Plan for Noxious Algal Blooms and Contingency Plan for massive fish escapes.
  5. Failure to comply with a request for information from the SMA, because Nova Austral indicated that it does not have daily log control records of mortality submitted to silage in the 2016-2018 production cycle, when there are circumstances in the investigation that provide for the opposite.

This last charge is considered as very serious, since “this Superintendency believes that the breach of the requirement constitutes a deliberate concealment of information that prevents the exercise of the powers of this SMA, and that it may have as its object the concealment or cover up of other regulatory breaches,” Riestra explained.

“These sanctioning procedures represent the beginning of a new way to manage the infractions of this regulated sector,  necessarily displaying a closer coordination between Sernapesca and the SMA, together with giving a more timely and effective sanction response for this type of breaches that they have a high environmental relevance," he added.


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