The rigging of data is the latest scandal on Chilean salmon farms


This salmon farming company is situated on the southern tip of Chile under the name Nova Austral. The company is able to say that its antibiotic salmon are free.

This is a big sale. Many consumers of farmed salmon are put up on antibiotics. So the type of antibiotic-free premiums can get as much as 30% over the regular things in international markets. (Salmon caught in the wild are still much more than four times collected on the farm.) T

Click on the Nova Austral website, and are images of the Antarctic frigid waters and the rough Patagonian snow and coastal squad. The company's brand name, Sixty South, which is found at Fresh Direct of New York, cools amongst other places in the United States, across the home page. “Salmon say, naturally,”.

The page does not say that the company had to acknowledge last month that the local newspaper El Mostrador had published a true investigation: Nova Scotia had reported its fish mortality data to regulators. The salmon were dying in an alarming number hidden from the public.

In recent years the number of scandals has affected the Chile salmon industry. Like the time around 900,000 fish escaped into the Pacific Ocean. And the time when algae grew up, environmentalists went into salmon farming on the coast of Chile.

There is no suggestion that Nova Austral sold any diseased fish to retailers, but, yet, this incident is in contact with a nerve in Chile – producing around 25% of the world's supply – in a way that the other events did not that. Regulators are pushing civil charges; members of the conference are calling for stricter regulation; Nicos Nicolaides, chief executive of Nova Austral, was suddenly set aside; and the price of the company's foreign bonds fell as low as 60 cents on the dollar.

The saga also emphasizes another growing trend at a time when the organism and the green are very fiction among the world's consumers: The temptation is to cut corners and give viable products to products. The practice is called greening. And while Nova Asturas may not have been cleaning up sharply – the fish is completely free, after all – what he did is a direct relationship: joking the details to their organic product will be greener than it really is.

“What happened to Nova Austral is unacceptable,” said Alejandro Buschmann, biologist and professor at Universidad de Los Lagos, whose headquarters are in the Chile salmon production region. “The whole salmon industry has doubts about this dishonest action because there is no evidence that the same thing has happened to other companies.” T

The board of Nova Austral co-operated fully with regulators and put in place measures to ensure accurate reporting of fish mortality, the company said in an e-mail statement. On a call in July, Harold Meyer, board director and principal at Bain Capital, said the investigation identified “inadequate shortcomings.” He also said that “Nova Austral never compromised standards for production, product integrity and sustainability. . ”

Private equity firms Banks Bain Capital and Altor acquired Nova Austral in 2014 after one of its companies bought it for $ 183 million. Both purchasing firms did not return requests for comments.

The Sixty South brand is often sold in stores selling organic and healthy food products, such as Lunds & Byerlys, with 27 upgraded shops in Minneapolis, and at many restaurants and hotels, including the New Orleans Loews. Approximately one third of its production was sold in the United States. Last year. Fresh Direct, Loews Hotels and Lunds & Byerlys did not immediately respond to emails and calls seeking traffic.

The salmon industry has been wearing the healthy eating trend for a long time. The demand for the high-protein fisheries, an average of 4.5% per year in the decade ended 2017, grew faster than that for poultry, pork or beef. And Chile, Norway, produced most salmon, the biggest benefit, with a doubling of exports over a decade, with $ 4.7 billion last year.

Indeed, salmon is Chile's largest export outside of mining and, with double digit growth over the last three years, is seen as critical to diversifying a rapidly growing and over-dependent economy. on copper production.

But now there is a risk that salmon farmers will bring a good reputation for farmers to have salmon – such as road type roads that play fast and loose with rules.

When 30 million salmon died in 2016, the fisherman on the island of Chiloe went on for a week as dead clams came up. The industry blamed seasonal algal blooms, but a Greenpeace investigation said six months later that 5,000 tonnes of dead salmon were dumped into the open seas, worsening the effect of the blooming algae.

A number of farmers in Chile are already exploiting their products from the country, marketed as “Patagonian salmon, Chile salmon,” said Gorjan Nikolik, associate animal protein director at RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness. “In the case of fish raised in Pagagonia, their distinction is purity in their waters.” T

There is no major player in Nova Austral in Chile, with about 3% of total production, but she has tried to stand out from competitors. Chile farmers use high levels of antibiotics to combat diseases that circulate more easily in Chile waters, particularly when fish are bred in a crowded cage – 1,400 times more antibiotics than Norway to produce the same amount of salmon in 2017, according to the Oceana environmental group.

In contrast, Nova Austral uses no antibiotics, a strategy it has earned from environmental groups and certification of responsible farming from the World Foundation's Aquaculture Supervisory Council. This, in turn, allows for premium prices from salmon consumers who are more concerned that the high use of antibiotics can leak anti-drugs.

More and more retailers, such as Whole Foods, do not have antibiotics or hormones on all fish and shrimp in their stores, according to Xian Deng, an analyst at Berenberg Bank in London.

However, the Nova Austral convincing image collapsed in June and the first reported that the number of salmon dying on its farms was unbelievable. Chile regulations require over 15% of fish farmers to cut their fishing stock for the next cycle to prevent spread of disease. The newspaper investigation showed that executives kept double accounting for death rates and consistently reported deaths below the 15% threshold.

While the latest scandal has prompted calls for stricter regulation, Nova Austral is likely to be fined about $ 200,000. The Aquaculture Supervisory Council could suspend its responsible farming certification.

“Industry and government should think long and hard about events like this,” said Buschmann. “This case proves that international regulators and certification agencies can turn easily.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.