El Nino event will exacerbate consequences of avian flu in marine organisms

The arrival of an El Nino phenomenon on the country’s northern coasts has officials at the National Fisheries Service (Cernpesca) on alert, as it will have an impact on marine fauna affected by bird flu. The number of dead animals per month exceeds 4,000.

In this regard, Soledad Tapia, national director of Cernapesca, pointed out that “analysis and projections indicate that the situation is expected to complicate in the coming months, mainly due to the arrival of the El NiƱo phenomenon on the northern coasts, which will affect Availability of food for sea creatures.

“The physiological state of the specimens, reduced as a result of survival from avian influenza, together with loss of food, may produce a synergistic effect on increasing, increasing or maintaining the frequency of these events,” he added.

The latest report on the status of highly pathogenic avian influenza in animals living under the protection of Cernesca states that more than 18,000 marine animals have died as a result of the disease.

Specifically, from February to July 28, 18,882 specimens have been killed, of which 16,310 are common sea lions, 2,493 Humboldt penguins, 34 chungungos, 27 spiny porpoises, 17 Chilean dolphins and 1 huilin.

Regarding positive cases, the last case was a sea lion found on 14 July in Punta Arenas, Magallanes Region. For this reason, CERNPESA initiated special coordination work with the competent bodies for the protection of the Chilean Antarctic, establishing boundaries and reinforcing the dissemination of biosecurity protocols, especially when boarding tourist ships.

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