Chile will begin moving 3.5 million salmon from farms in the range of the Chaitén volcano that has been erupting for over a week and spewing ashes as far as Buenos Aires, Santiago and the South Atlantic.
The salmon to be removed are ready to be harvested or pre-harvest and will be transported to the province of Chiloé, 200 kilometers from the epicenter of the eruption located in Chilean Patagonia 1.300 kilometers south of Santiago. "The fish will be relocated in an area of similar epidemiologic conditions, following a positive sanitary review", announced on Friday Sernapesca, the country's Fisheries Service Office. "If salmon is not moved from the range of Chaitén and the thick rain of ashes, growing conditions could rapidly deteriorate given the toxic components of the volcanic ash", said Chief Vet Victor Alvarado Lacrampe from the Santo Tome University. "This apparently simple measure seems the best option to partially contain the serious risk situation faced by the salmon industry in the area", he added. In related news Chile Agriculture Minister Marigen Hornkohl said that the country's sanitary authorities in coordination with their Argentine counterparts have established an "exceptional" procedure to "facilitate and allow the transit of Chilean livestock through Argentine territory and eventually fodder to feed them". Meantime in Buenos Aires and Montevideo international air traffic was gradually re-established but flights to the south of Argentina continue to be limited given the high concentration of volcanic ashes in the atmosphere. As happened on Thursday in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile and Montevideo, Uruguay are also preparing for the event that given wind conditions the ash blanket in the atmosphere could reach those cities. In the area next to the Chaitén volcano in a range of 30 kilometers an estimated 8.000 people have been evacuated. Chilean president Michelle Bachelet traveled on Friday for the second time to the area to express solidarity and check on the relief efforts displayed by Chilean forces and civil defence.