Southern Chile’s pristine waters also support one of the largest farmed-salmon production hubs, supplying almost a third of all farmed salmon globally. The salmon industry in Chile employs more than 70,000 people with annual exports of more than $4 billion USD.
Seafood farming, or aquaculture, is one solution to help meet growing consumer demand for seafood products as 93% of wild fish stocks are fished to capacity or overfished and no longer able to support higher catches. Aquaculture may help alleviate pressure on wild fisheries, but farming practices can pose threats – like sea lice, microbial infections, antibiotic discharge, and other diseases – to delicately-balanced surrounding environments if operations are not managed responsibly.
The good news is that by implementing best practices seafood farming can be done more safely and with less impact on the environment and on local communities and workers.