The recent earthquake in Chile caused extensive damage to fish meal plants, doubling fish meal prices from mid 2008 to a current $2,000 per metric ton in the European Union. With the decline of the El Nino, fish catches would have increased, easing prices. Because processing capacity is limited, catches will be reduced in proportionally to available working plants.

Advertisement

The current oil contamination in the Gulf of Mexico may also exacerbate the situation with the greatest effect on aquaculture, where fish meal is used extensively in diets for mariculture and for farmed species.