Mar 2, 2016

Algae bloom kills millions of salmon in Chile

Aysén Province, XI Región
Chiloé Province, Los Lagos Region
Los Lagos Region
Chile
by
Associated Press
A policeman walks past a tank filled with dead fish at a salmon farm. Photo: Luis Hidalgo, Associated Press
A policeman walks past a tank filled with dead fish at a salmon farm. Photo: Luis Hidalgo, Associated Press

Toxic algae blooms have killed about 8 million salmon in Chile, officials said on Wednesday.

The Chilean national fisheries service said that about 18,000 tons have been lost in recent weeks due to algal blooming, which asphyxiates fish by decreasing oxygen in the water.

Chile is a major global exporter of salmon and its leading clients include the United States.

Authorities say that high temperatures stemming from El Nino weather pattern likely caused the algal bloom that first hit Chile's salmon-growing southern regions of Aysen and Chiloe. It then spread to the Los Lagos region located about 620 miles south of the Chilean capital