Chile’s red tide causes wave of protest and blame


A new red tide outbreak in southern Chile, the largest in the nation’s history, has sparked protests focused mainly on the country’s lucrative salmon farming industry, which last year generated US$3.5 billion in sales. Red tides, known by scientists as “harmful algal blooms,” occur when algae accumulate rapidly in the water and produce natural toxins that can be fatal to marine life. They have been dubbed “red tides” because the water containing the algal blooms can take on shades of red. Chile’s current red tide, which has involved the spread of a microalgae called Alexandrium catenella, was officially confirmed by the government on April 20. It is believed to have originated near Quellón, a small town on the western edge of Chiloé Island in... [Log in to read more]

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