Thousands of dead fish wash up on shores of Chilean river leaving experts baffled

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Masses of lifeless sardines choked the waters in and around the river – but experts are scratching their heads over what caused their deaths

 

Thousands of dead sardines have been found floating along the shores of Queule River in the southern part of Chile, leaving experts puzzled.

Scientists have admitted they are baffled by the bizarre phenomenon and are still investigating the cause of the deaths. Television news footage showed masses of the lifeless silver fish more than a foot deep choking the waters in and around the river shores and boats.

The sardines washed up on a river in southern Chile
The sardines washed up on a river in southern Chile

Over the weekend, Chilean health authorities began removing tons of sardines, scooping them up in baskets and loading them on to boats and a crane fork. The National Fisheries and Aquaculture department, during the weekend, confirmed on its Twitter account the start of the operation.

Fisherwoman and Queule neighbourhood leader, Victoria Benavente, said the situation was critical.

“The situation is critical. I think that today is the fifth day and the government should’ve declared a disaster area. The health part is tremendous, children should not have classes, headaches are immense,” Benavente said.

The river's surrounding have been declared a 'health catastrophe' zone
Floating sardines

Local media reported there was an imminent health risk at Queule cove.

The leader of Queule Cove fishermen, Hernan Machuca, said: “Experience tells us that if we have already collected a thousand ton, at least here in the river (Queule) there are 10 thousand more. And that entails a lot of hours working.” (UK Mirror)

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