A plague of parasitic sea lice has spread through salmon farms globally, causing an estimated $1 billion in losses and sending prices of farm-raised salmon up 50 percent, according to the Washington Post. "The lice are actually tiny crustaceans that have infested salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile, major suppliers of the high-protein, heart-healthy fish," the Post said. As a result, the industry has contracted by about 10 percent.
Chile has designated the world’s largest marine park — at 740,000 square kilometers, or about the size of the entire nation of Chile. Known as Rapa Nui, the park will safeguard at least 142 endemic marine species, including 27 facing extinction.
Wild seaweed is becoming an increasingly popular food source and moneymaker across South America, says Take Part. Most of the region’s seaweed is gathered from the wild, rather than cultivated as it is other parts of the world, like Asia. Of Chile’s 30,000 wild harvesters, most are women.
A federal appeals court in Chile has ruled that the country’s salmon farmers have to disclose their level of antibiotic use, says Reuters. The international environmental group Oceana filed the claim for transparency in 2014, when Chilean salmon producers upped their antibiotic use by 25 percent in order to fight off a devastating bacteria known as SRS or Piscirickettsiosis.
The 2016 Alaska salmon harvest is expected to drop 40 percent from last year’s count, says Alaska Dispatch News, primarily due to a routine decline in pink salmon numbers that hits every two years.