Toxic Algae attacks Chiloe Island
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A disaster has recently hit the Chile’s coast area as the people living on the Chiloe Island can no longer provide food for themselves and their children.
These regions were once famous for their landscapes and rich wildlife, but now the situation is upside down. The source of this disaster comes from the invasion of a toxic blue-green algae which spread along the coast and poisoned the waters.
According to one of the Island’s residents, Marisol Millaquien, it has already been a few weeks since she was not able to work because of the foul smell and the scum along the coast, known as the ‘red tide.’
According to the fishermen, this plague of the waters is called the ‘quiet catastrophe,’ which is the worst red tide that ever occurred in the history of the island. The government was prompted to declare the area surrounding these islands as an emergency zone.
This type of algal bloom is lethal not only to fish but also for other marine animals and even birds. It poisones the waters by releasing a deadly toxin that attacks the central nervous system directly, paralyzing it. If humans consume any seafood, including shellfish, they might also get poisoned.
Marisol confessed that there has never been such a desolate view from her home as there have been other previous red tides but nothing as deadly as this one.
She and many other residents do not buy the global warming explanations. They also believe that not the El Niño phenomenon is to blame but the commercial salmon farms in Chile that dumped enormous quantities of contaminated fish near the coast. Another red tide killed millions of salmon last year after the level of oxygen in the water dropped off severely.
Because of this contamination, the Chiloe inhabitants are now unable to catch anything, meaning that they are threatened to die of hunger. They would have preferred to be hit by any other plague instead of this, because in that case, they could have still relied on seafood.
According to Millaquien, fishing is the primary activity that sustains the economy along Chile’s long coast. People have fallen into depression, children have no milk, bills started piling up, while the red tide might even last a few more months, according to the experts.
Fishermen have recently blocked the island from the mainland and used flamed barricades to ask for the government’s help.
However, Marisol thinks that she and the other residents of the Chiloe Island will not receive any help from the government. Even if she spent many years catching seafood, she is not listed in the official registry as eligible to receive aid and support.