Salmon producers and unions representing workers in Aysen, one of Chile's main salmon farming regions, are expressing relief after the government on Thursday denied a move to hand over more than 600,000 hectares (2,316 square miles) of coastal areas to sparsely populated indigenous communities opposed to the industry.

Farmers were worried that transferring control of the 621,217 hectares to the communities could derail future plans to expand salmon farming in the area.

"The decision reflects that the focus of the work must be on coexistence and mutual respect, taking care of local and national development, since this measure impacted up to 25 percent of the country's fattening capacity, generating uncertainty in around the operational continuity of the industry," Blumar CEO Gerardo Balbontin told IntraFish.