Chile starts to rebuild shattered fishing industry – Fishfarmer Magazine

Chile starts to rebuild shattered fishing industry08 March, 2010 –

CHILE has started the long job of rebuilding its shattered fishing industry following the devastating earthquake nearly two weeks ago.

Hundreds of fishing boats – from large trawlers to inshore vessels – were smashed and many fishing port put out of action by the tsunami that hit the coastline following the ‘quake. The damage to fishing is already is lost business is already thought to total more than £70-million.

Many fishermen have lost their livelihood because their boats have been put out of action – and at a time when the new fishing season was about to get underway for much of the country. Such was the force of the tidal waves that some boats were found up to two miles inland.

It is expected to take several months to repair vessels and get the fishing piers back into working order. The situation has not been helped by looters robbing boats of nets and other gear. The small fishing port of Talcahuano is only a few miles from Chile’s second biggest city, Concepcion, where the military and the police are out on the streets in their thousands

This is the second blow to hit Chile’s seafood industry in the past 12 months . Salmon farming is already reeling from the outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia which has effectively wiped out large parts of the business. It is expected that 2010 will the worst year in the industry’s history.

Experts predict that up to 5,000 workers – 25 per cent of the current workforce – will lose their jobs in the next few months on top of the 10,000 jobs that have already gone.