Jun 082013
 

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.

600 guaynay cormorants and penguins like this one were discovered dead on the beaches of northern Chile. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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 km2and 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

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
Delbert Smith

H1N1 bird flu.

Faheem Ud Din

🙁

Bob Bushell

It’s devastation, they must be found.

Bob Bushell

It's devastation, they must be found.

Jacqueline Deely Photography

This is absolutely tragic.

Malcolm Wilson

carnage on a huge scale, dynamiting sea-lions and associated marine life it would seem.

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [1383 Views]
  2. Karma Strikes Again: Trophy Hunter Killed by Elephant [1120 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the Grizzly Bear be removed from the Endangered Species List? [1007 Views]
  4. POLL: Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down? [967 Views]
  5. ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels [817 Views]
  6. $10,000 reward offered to find killer of famous Yellowstone white wolf [701 Views]
  7. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [626 Views]
  8. Elephants Can’t Wait to Meet New Rescued Baby at Sanctuary [617 Views]
  9. Heroic Boat Captain Rescues Entangled Great White Shark [614 Views]
  10. Live donkey fed to tigers in shareholder protest at Chinese zoo [587 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42100 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16884 Views]
  3. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11134 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [10607 Views]
  5. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8675 Views]
  6. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8246 Views]
  7. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7444 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4685 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroes be stopped? [4657 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Spain’s “Running of the Bulls” festival be banned? [4609 Views]