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CHILE’S AYSÉN QUAKE, A POSSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER

Chile, S.A.

May 16, 2007

Neither the press nor the government has paid proper attention to what may over time prove to be a devastating and long-term environmental effect of the April quake: escaped salmon. At the time of the earthquake, 14 salmon farms operated within the Aysén Fjord. Together the farms may have housed as many as 14 million fish. As a result of the quake, which caused serious physical damage to the farms, some of those 14 million salmon must certainly have escaped. “Even if just 10 percent of (the fish) escaped, we could be looking at the worst environmental disaster to have yet taken place in the fjords of Aysén. Because salmon is a carnivorous species, (the escape) could, among other associated problems, affect the area’s native fish stocks.”

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