Impacts of Chilean Salmon Farms on Coastal Ecosystem Discovered Accidentally
Until recently, the disastrous scale of the threat posed by salmon farms to the fauna and National Park of the Aysén region of southern Chile was entirely unknown. The unexpected discovery was made by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the University of Göttingen, who were studying acoustic communication among the native whales in the region. The researchers not only discovered that the salmon industry is rapidly spreading to the hitherto largely unspoiled south of the region; they also documented the previously unknown threat to the region's native sea lions.
International environmental organisations have expressed their surprise at this accidental discovery.
The Göttingen researchers report their observations in the "Correspondence" section of the current edition of the journal Nature.
With an export volume in excess of two billion US dollars, Chile is one of the world's main producers of farmed salmon. The aquaculture, which is carried out on a massive scale, is mainly concentrated on the ramified fjords of the province of Aysén in Patagonia. While parts of the province are classified as a National Park, the protection does not extend to the surrounding sea. The salmon farms, which are entirely legal from the government's perspective, have, in part, devastating impacts on the region's entire ecosystem -- not least because Atlantic salmon is an alien species in Chile, introduces diseases and therefore poses an additional risk to already threatened native species. Moreover, the use of medication on the farms and the waste they produce also burden the ecosystem.
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Bron: Science Daily
Impacts of chilean salmon farms on coastal ecosystem discovered accidentally
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