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Countless Dead Shrimp and Crabs Litter Chile Beaches March 29, 2013
Dead shrimp and crabs on beach in Coronel, Chile.
"I'm 69 years old and started fishing when I was nine. But as a fisherman, I never saw a disaster of this magnitude.'' — Gregorio Ortega.
The beaches of Chile’s Coronel Bay were blanketed with a carpet of red from countless thousands of dead crabs and shrimp that mysteriously washed ashore.

“We're investigating ... to establish the physical parameters of temperature, electric conductivity and, above all, the oxygen,” local environment official Victor Casanova told reporters.

But local fishermen suggested the deaths could have been caused by local power stations that use seawater as a cooling agent.

The power firm, Endesa Chile, denied the allegations.

The company project manager said that their own studies indicate the die-off “is due to the flow of deep waters coming from the continental platform, induced by currents of wind on the ocean.”

Last year, large numbers of dolphins and birds died mysteriously to the north in coastal Chile.

Some blamed the use of powerful underwater sonar used by oil exploration offshore for the fatalities.

Photos: Jose Luis Saavedra