Re-framing salmon aquaculture in the aftermath of the ISAV crisis in Chile

P.L. Bachmann Vargas*, C.S.A. van Koppen, M.A.J. Lamers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Globally, aquaculture is expanding rapidly, with salmon becoming one of the most dynamic and fast-growing production systems in the world. Despite its commercial success, Chilean salmon production has navigated through severe economic and sanitary crises; followed by consecutive policy changes. Between 2007 and 2009, the rapid spread and the multiple effects of the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAV) marked a tipping point in the trajectory of the salmon aquaculture in southern Chile. This paper examines the discursive mechanisms through which the Chilean salmon aquaculture industry is currently being re-framed in the aftermath of the ISAV crisis, with a focus on searching for the emergence of ecosystem-related elements post crisis. The analysis shows that Chilean salmon aquaculture is being re-framed by the reproduction of three main discourses: biosecurity, sustainable protein and The Promise of Patagonia. The paper concludes that despite the staggering effects of the ISAV crisis on the national salmon production and on coastal communities more than a decade ago, new discourses are focused on the legitimization to growth, in the absence of integrated marine ecosystem-related elements, indicating a crucial gap toward environmental sustainability in salmon aquaculture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104358
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Aysén region
  • Discourses
  • ISA Virus
  • Patagonia
  • Transformational processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-framing salmon aquaculture in the aftermath of the ISAV crisis in Chile'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this