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 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:
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should Finland’s 235 wolves be culled? [1638 Views]
- POLL: Should the Wildlife Trust’s campaign to slaughter grey squirrels be stopped? [1605 Views]
- POLL: Should all tiger farms in China be closed down? [1578 Views]
- POLL: Should Trump disband USDA Wildlife “Killing” Services? [1165 Views]
- POLL: Should more bear hunting licenses be issued? [1150 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1056 Views]
- POLL: Should Australia’s feral cats be culled? [819 Views]
- POLL: Could U.S. endangered species rules go extinct under Trump? [726 Views]
- POLL: Should the Woolly Mammoth be resurrected through genetic engineering? [724 Views]
- Why do birds sing? [634 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42055 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16796 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13849 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11117 Views]
- POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8612 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8309 Views]
- POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [8128 Views]
- POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8048 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7416 Views]
- Wildlife Photo Adventure in Costa Rica! [6115 Views]