Salmon farm in Chile
Salmon is one of the most popular and valuable fish on the market. Worldwide, 3.3 million tons of salmon are caught or farmed every year — and this number continues to grow. This demand has led to increased aquaculture production of the fish. In fact, over 70 percent of salmon is now farmed.


  • By 2025, reduce the use of antibiotics in Chilean farmed Atlantic salmon, coho salmon and rainbow trout by at least 50 percent compared to the 2017 baseline and achieve at least a Good Alternative rating or equivalent.

  • Chile

  • Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

  • Net pen

  • ~610,000 mt (95 percent of Chile's annual production of farmed salmon)

Performance & Trade

Chile is currently the world’s second-largest producer of farmed salmon with exports worth $5.2 billion USD annually. About one-third of Chilean salmon production is imported by the United States. Approximately 71 percent of Chilean farmed salmon is rated a Seafood Watch Avoid, 23 percent is certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the remaining 6 percent is rated a Seafood Watch Good Alternative.
Trade graph showing 71 percent of Chilean farmed salmon is rated Avoid, 23 percent is certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the remaining 6 percent is rated Good Alternative.
Chile salmon farm

Challenges

The Chilean salmon farming industry is struggling to control bacterial disease (primarily Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome (SRS), caused by Piscirickettsia salmonis) and sea lice parasites (Caligus rogercressyi), resulting in the frequent application of antibiotic and parasiticide treatments. The very high level of antibiotic and parasiticide treatments and the developing resistance to those treatments are the driving factor behind the Seafood Watch Avoid recommendation for Chilean farmed salmon. The industry has realized annual losses of $1 billion USD associated with the aforementioned diseases and the development of management strategies and effective vaccines to control these diseases is an urgent priority.

Our Approach

Seafood Watch is working in collaboration with Intesal, a technical coordination service of Chile’s salmon industry association (SalmonChile) to define and implement strategies for managing disease and reducing antibiotic and pesticide use in the Chilean salmon industry. In 2018, we brought together representatives from the salmon industry, scientific organizations and government to address the use of chemicals in Chilean salmon farming. Representatives from companies that produce over 90 percent of Chile’s farmed salmon participated. At the workshop, the group reviewed current science, set goals for a percent reduction in antibiotic use and discussed strategies to lower antibiotic and pesticide use. In March 2019, SalmonChile committed to reduce antibiotic use in the salmon industry by at least 50 percent and implement production practices consistent with a Good Alternative rating by 2025. The Chilean Salmon Antibiotic Reduction Program (CSARP) was developed to identify and implement the strategies needed to meet the antibiotic reduction goal. CSARP is led by a technical committee of farmers and independent experts. Additional companies, including members and non members of SalmonChile, have signed on as participants and CSARP now represents companies that produce approximately 95 percent of Chilean salmon.
Seafood Watch and Chilean CSARP Tehnical Advisory Committee


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