I’m not sure if you guys have seen anything about what is happening recently on our little island of Chiloe but it is crazy! I’m not entirely sure of the details but apparently tons and tons of rancid salmon were dumped into the ocean near Ancud (about 50 miles to the north of Castro). SomosChiloe‘s facebook page posted these pictures. The translation might be a bit off but we get the idea.
This pollution has allegedly killed thousands of shellfish, barnacles, crabs, mussels, and even birds and sea lions! The government is apparently blaming Red Tide caused by El Nino while some locals claim the toxic algae doesn’t actually kill sea life, especially not in these crazy numbers! People aren’t eating seafood and so the fishing industry is suffering.
Chiloe is responding with protests and marches to defend their ocean waters. Hundreds of fisherman and other citizens are gathering to barricade roads and perform protest marches in different cities all over the island.
In Castro, there was a gathering and then a march where the block was totally filled with people, drumming and lighting tires on fire in the street. Our friends told us a march was happening, but I didn’t realize it was such a big thing. I only saw a video today on facebook showing all the different towns reacting. Too bad my Spanish still sucks too badly to accurately understand what they were saying in the video, but it feels like this is a big deal!
So we just went downtown to see if there was anything still going on, but it felt like business as usual. Except at the supermarket. The normal plethora of fresh veggies was replaced by bottles of cola?? We asked where the vegetables were and the grocer said there weren’t any because the roads have been blocked off. What?!
I’m not sure what to make of all this. Like, how worried should we be? We went back to Rahue a week ago (before we knew about all this), and I think the sea was telling us to not fish that day…Seb’s sea-fishing pole (a beast of a pole) broke IN HALF on the second or third cast, then he lost an expensive lure and a ton of brand new fishing line on the next cast with his Ugly Stick, then he FELL IN! We saw a ton of dead crabs on the shore, but didn’t put things together until a few days later we heard of the salmon dumping. So thanks, Pacific Ocean, for ruining our day of fishing to keep us safe!
I’ll keep up as much as I can with this developing story (Oh I sound like a journalist again!) and post as I learn more.