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More than 300 Magellanic penguins were found dead on the Uruguayan coast

“We are approaching the sixth planetary extinction of massive species.

23 de July de 2023 13:55

Food shortages due to overfishing and climate change; the causes of the catastrophe.

The NGO Fauna Marina explained that the birds, which are in the process of migration, died of hypothermia caused by lack of food. They also pointed out that in recent months dead dolphins and turtles have been found.   "It is a consequence of an overexploited and neglected sea," they said.

More than 300 Magellanic penguins appeared lifeless on the coasts of Uruguay in the last week. According to the NGO Fauna Marina , the death of the animals occurred during their annual migration from Argentine Patagonia to southern Brazil in search of food and water. warmer for winter.

“The food shortage as a consequence of overfishing in the South Atlantic and the consequences of climate change on marine currents could be the causes of the catastrophe,” the organization denounced on its social networks.

Most of the penguins that appeared lifeless on Uruguayan beaches, the head of the NGO, Richard Tesore , explained to local media, were very skinny. Some were also injured by the plastic that reaches the sea.

"They are very skinny animals, without food in their stomach, nor a layer of fat. To make such a long trip, it is essential to eat a lot of calories and have a large layer of fat in the body, which acts as a thermal insulator and protects the animals." animals from low temperatures. The animals died from hypothermia caused by lack of food. This happened due to overexploitation of fisheries ,” said the NGO.

The fishing industry and global warming

The appearance of lifeless penguins on the Uruguayan coast is a phenomenon that has been occurring for some time but has intensified in the last three years, the expert explained.

When the work of his NGO began, more than 30 years ago, analyzes concluded that animals were dying on the coast due to the consumption of hydrocarbons. “On this occasion, however, what is happening is the lack of food. The overexploitation of the fishing resource is noticeable and that affects the birds as well,” Tesore insisted.

Furthermore, indicated the person in charge of Marine Fauna, in the 90s marine currents began to change, due to the effect of global warming, which explains why some species, such as the manila, have stopped arriving. In the past, when fishermen identified those fish, they knew that the penguins would come after them because they feed on that species.

“We are approaching the sixth planetary extinction of massive species. We are the species that is causing it and the only one with the capacity to reverse it,” he warned in that sense.

The Ministry of the Environment, meanwhile, performed necropsies on several specimens and ruled out that the deaths were related to bird flu.

"Different findings were found that have been analyzed and that may be part of what is expected in a population that migrates hundreds of kilometers each year. Monitoring continues, especially from the network of coastal protected areas and with other data sources," indicated the portfolio in a statement.

"An overexploited and neglected sea"

In addition to penguins, in the last month more than 20 turtles were found on the Uruguayan coast, which generally die from consuming plastic or fishing nets. Some dead dolphins also appeared on the coasts of Canelones, Maldonado and Rocha.

What is happening, the organization lamented, is "a consequence of an overexploited and neglected sea."

"There are solutions, but they need to be taken urgently, at the political level (regulations and policies that protect resources); corporate (sustainability) and individual (responsible consumption)", considered the NGO on its social networks, where it shared images of the networks fishing and dead animals that reach the Uruguayan coast.

“We know what needs to be done. The planet is screaming at us louder and louder that it doesn't give any more. However, we continue on the same path. What we do to nature sooner or later affects us.Let us break the delicate balance on which our own lives also depend,” the organization concluded.

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By Agenda Malvinas

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