Salmones Austral's 'Los Arrayanes' has inaugurated what is Chile's first RAS farm to produce Atlantic salmon post-smolt.
Built between mid-2020 and the end of 2022 near to the Reloncaví Estuary, a location that has historically been used for salmon farming in Chile, the new facility comes as part of a global trend in heavier stocked Atlantic salmon smolt.
The RAS unit is located in Llaguepe, on the southeastern bank of the Reloncaví Estuary, which is fed by four rivers and a hydroelectric power station. With a higher temperature (>11 °C) surface layer, low salinity (<25ppt) and a high concentration of oxygen, the land-based farm can obtain both fresh and sea water from deep wells on the same site.
"This is quite new. In other post-smolt projects that we have designed, we have had salinity levels of 12-15ppt, not 25ppt like we have here. The great benefit of that is that the fish adapt to the sea much faster as we avoid the shock felt when transitioning from 12-15ppt to 32ppt," said Billund Aquaculture's Technical Manager Pablo Rojas.
This is the first RAS unit in Chile to be used for producing Atlantic salmon post-smolt. It is currently receiving 40g fingerlings and has a production capacity of 6 million post-smolt of up to 500g per year. Salmones Austral could extend this facility to handle later stages of the salmon life cycle.
"Our permit allows us to produce salmon along the entire life cycle up to post-smolt, which is why our next step is to incorporate incubation, first feeding and fry production in our farm. This will further reduce health risks when fingerlings are transported from other farms. In short, Los Arrayanes will enable us to standardize our processes and produce high-quality RAS post-smolt," said Salmones Austral's Fresh Water Manager, Andrés Sepúlveda.