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Nova Austral is in a turbulent stage. The company controlled by the Altor fund is on everyone’s lips and not for good news. On the one hand, the company is still managing the issue of the step back of the joint venture with Salmones Austral. On the other hand, the demand of Greenpeace.

Nova Austral is specialized in the production and processing of sustainable salmon within the Chilean salmon industry, operating in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica region.

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By the beginning of 2020, Nova Austral and Trusal S.A. (a subsidiary of Salmones Austral) signed a joint venture to harvest salmon in the Magallanes Region (Chile). This joint venture would operate through renewals with long-term expectations. Therefore, in 2020 it was signed for two cycles and then renewals would continue in February 2023. However, this has not occurred.

Approaching the renewal date, the salmon farming company controlled by the Altor fund, reported to the Oslo Børs (Oslo Stock Exchange in Norway), that it was facing operational challenges and liquidity restrictions. These factors naturally affected their agreements and investments, and Chile was not an exception. As a result, after selling all finished products, both partners decided to end this joint venture at the beginning of March. According to data, the move will impact the estimated stock of the salmon farming company for 2023, reducing it by approximately 2,5 million smolts.

Impacts on employment

Indeed, one of its subsidiaries close to Porvenir city is the one that is facing serious problems. Piscicultura Tierra del Fuego, as the subsidiary is called, is a modern facility with a freshwater recirculation system and is also in default on its loans.

This caused major concern in the region, which feared that there would be layoffs. Until today, the sessions of the working committee in Porvenir continue, where different regional and national actors talked about the facts, attempting to approach postures, and always putting the workers as the crucial factor.

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Tierra del Fuego coast landscape at Porvenir, Patagonia – Chile. Photo by: Adobe Stock.

Greenpeace accuses for massive mortality of salmon and killing of sea lions

Greenpeace has reported a new complaint to the Superintendencia de Medio Ambiente (SMA) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the massive mortality of salmon and the killing of sea lions. These events occurred last February at Isla Punta de Bajo, a salmon fattening center operated by the Norwegian company Nova Austral in the Magallanes region.

According to the NGO, the company did not follow the required protocol. It all started due to dead salmons were contained in nets and in direct contact with the sea, and caused the contamination of the water. After this event, the dead salmons remained stored in containers for more than 24 hours, attracting the attention of sea lions. When the sea lions arrived, Nova Austral carried out a procedure of entanglement, asphyxiation, and subsequent death of these sea lions.

Nova Austral’s press release states that “it has no antecedent, neither has it been notified by the authorities of any complaint related to the mistreatment or hunting of sea lions, a practice that it categorically rejects because it goes against its ethical standards and respect for the environment”.

Fur seal (sea lions) rookery and birds on the beach near the fishing port in Valparaíso – Chile. Photo by: Adobe Stock.
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