Jorge Dresdner∗,1,3,4, Carlos Chávez2,3,4, Miguel Quiroga1,3,4, Daniel Jiménez5, Paulina Artacho5, y Alfredo Tello5
1.Universidad de Concepción,
2.Universidad de Talca,
3.Interdisciplinary Center of Aquaculture Research,
4.Research Nucleus on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics,
5.Instituto Tecnológico del Salmón,
Participación en sesión: Dinámica empresarial.
We measure the impact that sanitary treatments for controlling ectoparasite Caligus rogercresseyi abundance have on unit production costs of Salmo salar farms in Chile. We follow complete production cycles for a sample of farms between 2009 and 2015. We estimate a salmon biomass growth and a Caligus abundance (infection level) model. The statistical analysis determines the effect of anti- parasitic treatments, location of farms, environmental conditions, and Caligus abundance on the salmon growth profile. Using outside cost information we simulate how unit production costs vary with different treatments and farm characteristics, and estimate the impact of treatment on unit production costs. Our results suggest that Caligus infection and treatment have significant effects on salmon growth and unit production costs. Unit production costs increase on average by 0.7 US$/kg. We also find that treatments reduce the impact of Caligus on salmon biomass over the production cycle, and that the costs of treatments are compensated by higher harvesting levels, such that unit production costs are invariant to the situation without treatment. All estimated effects differ depending on environmental and spatial conditions under which the farms are operating, suggesting that the design of cost-effective intervention calls for discriminatory regulation under heterogeneous conditions.
Keywords: Sanitary costs; salmon aquaculture; spatial heterogeneity; competitiveness; Caligus.