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For several weeks now, various meetings have been held to approximate positions. This Tuesday, one of them took place in which the main authorities of Magallanes, trade union leaders and company representatives attempted to discuss options to avoid Nova Austral from closing its operations at four facilities in Porvenir (Chile).

Nova Austral has had serious financial problems that have led to the end of the joint venture with Trusal (a subsidiary of Salmones Austral) and, consequently, the instability of part of the business they had together. The Porvenir area has been affected and is afraid that the economic difficulties will end up causing a social crisis.

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The trade unions explained that most of the city works directly or indirectly at the salmon farm. If this uncertainty continues, they claim, production and their employees would only be able to maintain themselves until next year. Therefore, what they are demanding are real solutions and certainty.

Environmental breach

Nova Austral’s headquarters in Porvenir is now facing the possible revocation of permits due to environmental qualification resolutions. Four of these farming facilities would not be respecting the regulations, according to the resolution of the Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente and a lawsuit of the Consejo de Defensa del Estado (CDE) due to environmental damages.

These problems are also linked to other complaints, such as the one filed by Greenpeace last week against the company.

To date, the governor, Jorge Flies, has requested background information from the CDE for the environmental damage claim filed against the company. The lawsuit would recognize the permanent and definitive shutdown of activities in four concessions: CES Cockburn 14, Cockburn 23, Aracena 10 and Aracena 14.

The governor’s intention, he explained to SalmonExpert, would be to clarify the CDE’s strategy to try to reach an economic agreement. In short, try to repair the environmental damage before ceasing production activities.

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Even though the concern of all stakeholders is the employees, the actions that can be taken by the authorities are limited. On the one hand, a court would be responsible for the renewal of the concessions as the expiration date approaches. On the other hand, the option of relocating the concessions involves a complex and lengthy bureaucratic process.

About Nova Austral

Nova Austral is a major player in the production and processing of salmon within the Chilean salmon industry. The company has been operating in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica region for more than 15 years. The company’s ownership is controlled by Altor Fund III and Bain Capital.

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