Hundreds of dead ocean creatures have washed up on Chile’s Pacific shoreline over the past few months and here’s why.
In 2015, about 300 whales were found in dead heaps on the southern coastline of Chile, facing the Pacific. That was only just the beginning.
In 2016, surges of algae caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon have caused massive kills across the oceanic mammal and fish populations. As Phys.Org reported, “an estimated 40,000 tons of salmon in the Los Lagos region” choked to death following the algae growth. That’s 12 percent of the annual salmon production in Chile.
Now, over 8,000 tons of sardines washed ashore in southern Chile, but began creeping farther north, too. The El Niño weather phenomenon is the most likely candidate in this mess because with it comes “warming sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.”
While kills like these tend to happen every season, and especially every El Niño season, this particular weather event “has been classed as one of the most intense in the past 65 years.”
Experts believe that the weather event is currently subsiding and hope that these kills will serve as a wake-up call to scientists across the world to invest more time and energy into researching the ocean.