Last month, in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile, more than 600 guanay cormorants and penguins were found dead on the beaches. The citizen control that monitors the area reported that on May 10, ten fishing boats were seen approaching the beach opposite the Los Choros ravine. Two days later, the Movement in Defense of the Environment (MODEMA) reports, the first dead beached birds were discovered – boobies, Yeco ducks, pelicans, and Humboldt penguins among them. The National Fisheries Service has confirmed the death of these species on-site, and the Chilean Navy is inspecting vessels there.
The question then becomes – what caused this mass death of birds, and are these fishing boats responsible?
“The death of these species could be associated with the activities performed by the seine boats. There has even been talk of the use of dynamite to kill the sea lions that eat their catches. If this is confirmed, the highest possible punishment should be levied against those responsible,” explained Oceana Executive Director Alex Muñoz.
This is not the first case of mass death registered in this area, however – In April 2012, nearly 350 guanay birds were found dead on the beach, while in May 2012, the National Fisheries Service reported that 80 sea lions washed up dead on same beach.
Oceana is calling on the authorities to punish those responsible for this mass death, and to approve the Coastal Marine Protected Area in La Higuera and Isla Chañaral. This proposed reserve would protect marine life in the area, promote sustainable activities like artisanal fishing and nature tourism, and avoid activities that cause harmful impacts on the environment, like bottom trawling and thermoelectric power plants. This plan, previously proposed by Oceana in 2010, would cover a marine surface of 3,445 km2 and 294 km of coastline. The world’s largest population of Humboldt penguins live in this area, as well as colonies of bottlenose dolphins, sea otters, birds, and marine mammals like blue, minke, and humpback whales.
“Although there are already two existing marine reserves in the area, this ecosystem is much larger and has little protection against threats such as bottom trawling or the use of other destructive fishing methods, for instance those that apparently caused the death of these birds,” concluded Muñoz.
This article was written by Justine Sullivan for Oceana.org
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [1371 Views]
- 13 newly-discovered birds declared extinct » [681 Views]
- Shooters set their sights on UK’s last remaining ruddy ducks » [594 Views]
- 87 new bird species considered threatened with extinction » [560 Views]
- Monkeys use field scientists as human shields against predators » [428 Views]
- Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [405 Views]
- Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade » [382 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [347 Views]
- Hundreds of thousands of birds accidentally poisoned every year » [339 Views]
- POLL: RSPB picks a fight over grouse shooting » [334 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [28250 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [12204 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7912 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [7895 Views]
- POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [7883 Views]
- POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [7008 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5617 Views]
- Wildlife Photography – Ethics and Conservation Issues? » [5173 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [4634 Views]
- Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [4259 Views]