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El Niño Causing Dead Sea Creatures to Wash Up on Chile’s Pacific Beaches

4 May 2016, 2:21 pm

7384724-3x2-700x467El Niño causing dead sea creatures to wash up on Chile’s Pacific beaches.

Scientists say the effects of El Niño and an algae increase are the likely causes of the tons of dead whales, salmon and sardines that have washed up since last year, Agence France-Presse reported.

According to, a surge in algae in the water earlier this year choked to death an estimated 40,000 tonnes of salmon in the Los Lagos region — equal to about 12 per cent of Chile’s annual production of the fish.

This month, about 8,000 tons of sardines were washed up at the mouth of the Queule river and thousands of dead clams piled up on the coast of Chiloe Island.

Chilean authorities blamed a “red tide” of algae and banned fishing in the affected region — putting thousands of fishermen out of work.

“We have red tides every year in southern Chile, but this time it reached further north,” said Jorge Navarro, a researcher at the marine institute IDEAL.

Headline image: Thousands of clams beached on the shores of Chiloe Island in May. (AFP: Alvaro Vidal)

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