Aquaculture Improvement Projects

Chilean Salmon

  • Species Name: Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
  • Location/Region: Los Lagos, Chile and Aysen, Chile
  • Volume: 65,000 tonnes (t) produced

© Yawar Motion Films / WWF-US

Chilean Salmon

AIP Goal: ASC Certification
Last Updated: May 17, 2018

With its 2,600-mile long coastline, Chile is the second-largest producer of salmon in the world and is a significant supplier to the U.S. market. Yet the industry has faced numerous environmental and social challenges. Salmon farming affects the health of Chilean coastal ecosystems and their wildlife, including blue whales, sea lions, and penguins. Other major impacts include water quality and biodiversity impacts, unsustainable feed ingredients, escapees, antibiotic and chemical use. And while the industry has contributed positively to local economy and employment in some areas, in other areas the salmon industry in Chile has had a history of conflict with local resource users and communities.

WWF is engaged in efforts with salmon producers in Chile to facilitate a faster and more comprehensive transition toward meeting ASC’s environmental and social standards. Two of the country’s largest salmon producers—Exportadora Los Fiordos (Super Salmon) and Salmones Blumar—are now working to transition 100% of each of their production to Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification in Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs), which represents a combined volume of approximately 100,000 tonnes. The companies are improving protocols for community engagement, piloting new trials and technologies to reduce antibiotic use and incidents of sea lice, and making progress towards complying with ASC standards on nutrient release and wildlife interactions.

Since the project began in 2015, Exportadora Los Fiordos has 18 certified sites, more than half of their active sites. They are currently the leader in Chile on number of ASC certified sites. Los Fiordos creates their own feed, manages genetics, hatchery and smolt production, saltwater growout stages and processing plants. Los Fiordos was an early leader in implementing improved protocols for social engagement with communities

In 2018, Blumar expects its first ASC certifications. Collaboration with WWF began in 2017 and Blumar has moved to complete ASC requirements around environmental impact assessments on all sites, building meaningful community engagement and taking a leading role in industry efforts to implement research trials around new technologies and vaccines to effectively manage parasites and diseases, which will reduce antibiotic and anti-parasiticide use.

Staff members of AquaChile, the largest exporter of salmon in Chile, work at their marine farm

© Meridith Kohut / WWF-US

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  • Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) Handbook (pdf)

  • Global Seafood Charter for Companies (pdf)

  • Learn more about the Aquaculture Stewardship Council

  • Learn more about the Marine Stewardship Council