The impact of trade and markets on Chilean Atlantic salmon farming

Exequiel Gonzalez Poblete, Ben Drakeford, Felipe Hurtado Ferreira, Makarena Garrido Barraza, Pierre Failler

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Since the 1980s, aquaculture has developed rapidly around the world, outpacing all other sources of animal protein production. Chile is the largest producer in South America, with an export driven aquaculture industry. Aquaculture development in Chile has largely focussed on three high value species (Atlantic salmon, Rainbow trout and Chilean blue mussel). These three species accounted for over 90 percent of the volume and value of Chilean exports by 2014.

The paper considers the role of trade and markets on Atlantic salmon production in Chile and the role of government regulators and industry to facilitate a further sustainable increase in farmed salmon output. Specifically, we address the opportunities and constraints regarding the impact of trade and markets for further industry expansion. We find that production constraints (e.g. regulation, over-production), marketing constraints (e.g. consumer perception) and environmental constraints (e.g. disease) have led to stagnating and sometimes declining production, preventing Chile from surpassing Norway and becoming the world’s largest Atlantic salmon producer.

The paper concludes that the signs for further growth are positive in Chile, although to date it is noted that industry expansion has outpaced developments in infrastructure, regulation and research and development. Most significantly, the industry has been blighted with environmental problems, which has weakened market share in recent years. However, better regulatory practice in Chile in recent years has been seen as positive in international markets. We note that further development in the regulatory framework, and continued aspirations to meet certification standards (e.g. Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Global Aquaculture Alliance Certification) could lead to increased market share for Chilean farmed salmon in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalAquaculture International
Early online date8 Jul 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 8 Jul 2019


  • Aquaculture
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Chile
  • markets
  • trade


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