The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

How a Chilean Volcano Affects the U.S. Salmon Market
Posted on May 01, 2015 by James Hickey

A volcano in Chile may affect the amount of salmon available in the U.S. Official damage estimates are not available yet, but Eduardo Aguilera of the National Fishing Service says about 20 million fish have died as ash descends on local waterways and the ocean.

On April 22, Chile’s Calbuco volcano in the Los Lagos Region erupted after lying dormant since 1972, leaving a 9 mile ash plume over the city of Puerto Montt, located approximately 600 miles south of Santiago. Initial reports indicate that salmon producers in the Los Lagos Region will experience the highest damages due to the thick layer of ash already falling in the area.

According to the Chilean Salmon Producers Association, 8% of newly spawned salmon and smolt production (approximately 25 million) are at risk as a result of the volcanic eruption. In the area affected close to the volcano, there are at least four facilities which were damaged and another eleven operations close to but outside of the 12 mile perimeter that had to be evacuated, including all workers.

Chile produces 800,000 metric tons of salmon per year, worth approximately $2.5 billion. That country makes up 45% of the world’s salmon production and account for over half of Chiles total agricultural exports.

Posted in Seafood  


About the Author

James Hickey
Business Writer
The Food Institute

James covers markets for the Food Institute, including the canned vegetable, frozen vegetable, tomato products, processed fish, dried fruit, nuts and juice and concentrate sectors. A reporter and editor for 21 years, James has worked as a writer and editor for North Jersey Media Group, an associate editor at Rodman Publishing and a production editor for the Daily Racing Form. James can be reached by email at or by phone at 201.791.5570 ext. 227.


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