SANTIAGO – Greenpeace warns that a new plant salmon in Puerto Natales – a gateway to the famous Torres del Paine national park – will cause severe environmental damage. Grupo Ciudadano Ultima Esperanza as well as other environmental organizations expressed disagreement about the installation of the plant.
Puerto Natales salmon plant installation planned for 2019 has caused a public outcry. since the city is a key locality for visitors on the way to Patagonia, citizens fear the plant will severely damage local society and the environment. “Grupo Ciudadano Ultima Esperanza”, aimed to fight against environmental damage claimed that Chile is a social and environmental power. According to them for that reason there is no need to establish an industry of that kind. Salmon company Australis Mar, the owner of the project promised the impact of its operations will be minimal, and it isn’t necessary to bring up the environmental theme.
But Greenpeace emphasized that the US$70 million plant will process 70,000t of salmon and inevitably affect the environment negatively. The NGO also revealed that the salmon plant will boost ship traffic by up to 350%, which dramatically increases the risk of leaks and spills. Besides, the plant will handle more than 23,000m3 of industrial residual liquids and require as much energy as 20% of local households. Additionally, a Greenpeace study found that vehicle traffic associated with the plant will be intense and that the surrounding community will have 12,000l of water less per day due to the plant. Other environmental defense organizations like “Junta de vecinos 30” , “Riesco Alerta Isla”, and “Ecoceanos”, also fighters for environment oppose the plant as well.
According to Greenpeace’s national director Matias Asun, “the salmon processing plant states that its project will barely have an impact for a couple neighbors from Puerto Natales. The statement is completely ridiculous because the affectation level produced by the operation of the plant will be severe for the neighbors’ everyday lives. For more trouble, Puerto Natales is one of the favorite places for international visitors, as a result tourism will be affected too. This could be the end of Puerto Natales as we know it. We are asking the authorities to avoid the destruction of the Paine towers entrance doors.”
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.