company pollutes and destroys lake on the island of Chiloe (Chile)
November 10, 2002
The firm Salmones Unimarc, property of Inversiones
Errazuriz, has completely destroyed Auquilda Lake (located 12 kilometers
northeast of the city of Castro on the Island of Chiloe), and has currently
been summoned and accused by the Consejo de Defensa del Estado (Council
for the Defense of the State), with a summary proceeding titled Reparation
and Indemnity of Harm from Environmental Damage.
Salmones Unimarc, propery of Francisco Javier Errazuriz Talavera, has maintained
intensive salmon farming operations for more than a decade, leading to
a serious Hyper Eutrification (*) process and the complete death of Auquilda
Lake. Over several years, the company violated the law and environmental
standards, exceeding the load limit established by the Ministry of Economy
for this lake in Chiloe more than 107 times. With the backing of technical
and scientific studies carried out by the Instituto de Zoología
(Zoology Institute) of the Universidad Austral de Chile (Southern University
of Chile), (November 2001), the University demonstrated that the intensive
cultivation of salmonids caused, and to this day continues to result in
a serious contribution of phosphorous and nitrogen at levels that exceed
the parameters established by law. This has led to irreversible damage
to the water and its aquatic life, in addition to rendering this body of
water useless for human consumption or tourist activities. On October 25th,
in Santiago, the firm was notified by means of a precautionary measure,
which ordered the immediate suspension of aquaculture activities
in Auquilda Lake.
Without a doubt, this event proves that salmon
farming activities can and do cause grave damage to the environment; and
that current measures of control do not adequately fulfill the role of
protecting public use assets that belong to all Chileans.
(*) Eutrification: The characteristic of
a mass of water that consists of disposing an excess of nutrients and plants,
coming from agricultural fertilizers and other human activities,
which causes a rapid growth of aquatic plants, algae, the grayish
green coloration of the water, the production of bad odors, lack of sunlight
on the lakes bottom and a dimunition in the concentration of dissolved
the death of plankton, fish and destruction of
the food chain.
(Diccionario de Geografía Física y Ciencias. Editorial Jurídica.
Santiago 1999; y el Smithsonian Tropical Resource Institute).
To obtain additional information, contact:
Tel. (56-65) 258145
Casilla Postal 876 Puerto Montt - Chile
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Leavenworth Audubon Adopt-a-Forest
PO Box 154
Peshastin, WA 98847
From GeoAustral in Pueto Montt, Chile:
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