Take physic, pomp

The sealions of Chimbote

Yesterday in Chimbote, Peru, eight sealions were found floating dead on the shore. After being dragged out the water by heavy machinery (those suckers are 300kg each, folks) the report run at first was that they’d been killed by fishermen, as it’s quite normal (I shit thee not) for fishing crews to harpoon sealions when they attack their nets and go after the fish contained.
However, later and better reporting noted there were no signs of physical attack on the animals and the mayor of Chimbote stated that the eight had died from pollution. This should not be a surprise to anyone that’s visited Chimbte recently, as the city is a veritable shithole of contamination. The main guilty party is the fishing industry itself, as Chimbote hosts large fish factories that turn the catch into very profitable fish meal (Peru is the largest producer of fish meal (aka fish flour) in the world, exporting 1.56 million tonnes of the stuff in 2008, for what it’s worth). The fish meal factories in Chimbote pump chimneystacks full of crud into the air..
From this blog post on Chimbote, Spanish
language and very informative
… and deposit liquid waste back into the sea via rusting pipelines that hardly make it out further than the tideline. Your author has been witness to these and to the heavy smell of fish as he walked along the portside and beaches (somewhere between baked and rotten anchovy) that washes up on the shore when the sea is in any state bar calm. For a visual example of the fun’n’games at Chimbote, check out this short youtube…

….and if you want more, check the sidebar of the youtube page for plenty more polluted Chimbote stories. Of course the government has known about this screw-you attitude to the environment and quality of life in Chimbote for years on end, so in May 2009 they finally placed limits on the amount of waste that the fish factories could pump into the sea (yes, that really does mean there was no limit previously). And of course, the factories in question have so far simply ignored the new rules, hence eight dead sealions on the shores of Peru yesterday. But there’s still no limit on that air pollution. I mean, the last thing Peru wants to do is scare off big business and ruin that investor-friendly image it wants to create, right?
Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.

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