November 30, 2022
VICTORY: Chilean court rules in favor of Oceana, orders salmon farming company to release antibiotics data
In August, Chile’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of Oceana and against a salmon farming company that had previously blocked access to data on their antibiotic use. The court ruled providing access to this data is constitutional, meaning the salmon farming company Mowi is now required to provide Oceana with access to data on its use of antibiotics.
“This is a historic ruling. For years, the court allowed information about the use of antibiotics in salmon farming to remain behind closed doors,” Javiera Calisto, Oceana’s Campaign Manager in Chile, explained. “This decision sets a new constitutional precedent for any future cases regarding public access to data on pollutants that can harm the environment and marine life.”
This victory comes after campaigning by Oceana and its allies to stop the expansion of salmon farming pollution in Chilean Patagonia, a biologically rich marine ecosystem. Salmon farms are often destructive — the waste generated by enormous numbers of fish packed into pens can devastate marine environments. The high density of fish often promotes disease and, consequently, excessive use of antibiotics, which are then released into the oceans where they can harm marine life. Bacterial resistance also results from excessive use of antibiotics.
To avoid the long legal procedures required to access information on antibiotics use, Oceana has been campaigning to pass legislation that will require Chile’s fisheries service to make this information promptly, permanently, and publicly available. Legislation has already been unanimously approved by both chambers of Chile’s Congress and is now nearing final approval.