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Date: 02-May-2015
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April 28, 2015

The volcano, which began erupting last week, wiped out 17 million eggs at the hatchery, as well as broodfish, the executive told Undercurrent News.

AquaGen doesn’t have the production capacity to replace the lost eggs with supplies from other hatcheries, as that production had already been sold, he said.

No other AquaGen facilities were damaged by the volcano, and the losses at Rio Sur were insured, he said. The company has a backup for the genetic material.

Last week, Chilean salmon producer Australis Seafoods said it had lost its supply of coho eggs for harvests in November 2016 and March 2017 that were to have been from AquaGen’s farm located within 20 kilometers of the volcano.

Australis said it had struck an agreement to secure eggs from another supplier.

For the Chilean salmon industry as a whole, Nordmo said he thinks the impact of the volcano will be low because less than 10% of the hatcheries have been affected.

He also expects AquaGen’s intensive breeding programs for disease resistance to boost survival rates in salmon hatched this year, contributing to increased production from the remaining broodstock.

The Calbuco eruption has it an area of southern Chile where salmon farmers raise young fish in freshwater farms before they are ready to live in saltwater, with the volcanic debris dealing a blow to the egg, fry and smolt populations of some companies and forcing the movement of millions of juvenile fish away from the area.

The eruption has left Chilean farmers to asses the impact on the industry, but the full extent of the damage to future salmon crops was only beginning to be quantified.

The losses raised questions about supply to the United States, where the South American nation last year sent around 132,000 metric tons of the salmon products worth more than $1.4 billion.

Sources tell Undercurrent whatever market impact on supply and prices there may be, it won’t be felt until at least next year, given the youth of the fish affected.

 Source: Undercurrent News

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