As it said it would do since the news about massive salmonid mortality in Reloncavi estuary due to harmful algal bloom (HAB) was made public, Chile's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) has continued to monitor and report on the evolution of the situation. Thus, on Friday, we informed that the salmon farms affected by massive mortality continued to be two. However, they have continued to increase and at the time of writing this, there were already seven, although two are still the most affected.
"Although the detection of this microalgae expanded its perimeter, there are still only two centers with higher mortality," said Cristian Hudson, Regional Director of Sernapesca in Los Lagos region. "From Sernapesca we can report that a total of 650 tons have been extracted from the cages of the fish farms, within the withdrawal deadlines established in the aquaculture pre-alert, processes that we will continue to monitor and control until the end of the contingency."
Once again, in this update, Sernapesca does not give the names of the companies with affected farms beyond the two that were confirmed last week, which corresponded to Caleta Bay and, the most affected, Trusal (Salmones Austral).
Similarly, if in the previous information Sernapesca reported 486.4 tons of coho salmon and trout dead, the latest data provided by the Chilean authority increase this amount to 1,140 tons, more than double. This is 1.4% of the total biomass in the water, which in the affected areas (ACS 1 and ACS2) is 79,727 tons.
Regarding the salmon farms that had reported the activation of the contingency plan for HAB, while in Sernapesca's previous update, the number had dropped from thirteen to only seven, the latest data provided by the Chilean authority increases this figure to eighteen. Of these, fifteen belong to the Salmonid Concessions Grouping (ACS) N°1; and three to the Salmonid Concessions Grouping N° 2, in the Reloncaví fjord.
The Chilean authority recalled once again that the harmful algal bloom currently affecting the Reloncavi estuary and Reloncavi Sound corresponds to the microalgae Thalassiosira pseudonana, which does not affect bivalve mollusks or other fish.