In Chile, killing mussels

Mussel producers in the Los Lagos faced with a serious problem, given the sharp decline in the number of young mussels.

Currently, representatives of the industry find it difficult to name the reason for such a sharp decline.

President of the Association of Chilean clams Calbuco Walter Kaiser says that this year the number of young mussels drastically reduced compared to previous seasons.

President of the Association of mussels Armando Salinas also said that "there is a significant reduction in the number of young mussels, especially in mountain areas (and Relonkav Hualahyu)."

Mr. Kaiser explained that this situation leads to higher prices, making it virtually impossible for small and medium-sized producers to supply their farms usual amount of young mussels, because the current price is very high.

One of the possible reasons for decline in the availability of young mussels are the consequences of excessive use of chemicals in the manufacturing of salmon in the region, experts say.

Other causes include environmental variables, such as increased salinity due to rainfall in the Los Lagos within the region of the Andes, reducing the amount of phytoplankton and the effects of volcanic ash fallout.

"We can put forward many theories, but we can not determine the real cause of high mortality of young," — complains Mr. Kaiser.

He added: "We can not continue to fund and support projects that are intended to pay for post-graduate training for scientists, who are not able to offer concrete answers to why this phenomenon occurs. We do not know the reason for what is happening, but it is killing our industry in the bud — both literally and figuratively. "

According to Mr. Kaiser, the most serious problem is the decline in production between 2013 and 2014.

Experts have predicted the decline in mussel production by 50 to 70% for next year.

"If the situation persists, we may lose the international markets, which won with great difficulty," — he said.

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