Posted by: The ocean update | January 15, 2016

Massive squid mortality in Chile illustrates ocean pasture collapse

squid_dead_on_beach-ChiliJanuary 15th, 2016 (Russ George). On the island of Santa Maria in southern Chile residents have reported tens of thousands of dead squid started washing up on the beaches five days ago. Squid have been spoiling beaches there every year for the past decade, but residents say there are a far more of them this year.

Horrible Smell

The vast numbers have prolonged the clean-up effort and as the rotting squid carcasses decompose the stench is horrific and people are naturally worrying about the health implications for their families to say nothing of the dire catastrophe clearly impacting the ocean.

Heavy machinery was brought in only Wednesday to begin removing the dead squid. The delayed response has led some to criticize the country’s emergency response infrastructure as well as its dedication to proper management of the nations vast and vital ocean pastures.

Experts say investigations are underway to determine why so many more squid washed up on the shores this year. Experts say preliminary evidence suggests the squid died and washed up on shore due to an oceanographic phenomenon called “upwelling,” which is when dense, cooler and usually nutrient-rich water moves towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water.





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