"Clouds of birds passing overhead obscured the sun"This is how Humboldt described the Peruvian sky when he arrived to the Pacific coast. We will never be able to imagine what he saw since in the last 50 years 95% of the bird population as well as the biodiversity of the sea of Chimbote have disappeared.
The bay of Chimbote in Peru, has turned into a sewage pit, killing its biodiversity and compromising the health of its inhabitants, who are now struggling to breathe.
The sea has run out of oxygen. Over the last years, more than 40 fishing and steel companies settled all along the El Ferrol Bay have generated 54 million cubic meters of organic and toxic wastewater with traces of lead, arsenic and steel particles, polluting the water table, drinking water and the sea. These sediments have covered the seabed with a layer of mud between 2.80m and 3.20m high, along 5 miles as local biologist Romulo Loayza reported in 2002. Many sea lions, fish and birds are found dead from asphyxia.
Sea air is noxious as it contains particles of organic and toxic waste and smells putrid. The people of Chimbote have also been exposed to this environmental pollution. It has endangered their health causing chronic skin diseases, pulmonary fibrosis and children's asthma. According to the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment, in Chimbote, fishing factories produce sulfur dioxide emissions that are twelve times higher than those established by the World Health Organization.
Many people in the Quince de Abril neighborhood suffer from serious respiratory problems but do not have the financial means to be treated in hospitals. Nor do they receive help from their political leaders. According to them, it does not smell putrid, but smells of progress.
In the context of Covid-19, the community of Chimbote is a vulnerable population and they are waiting for justice for their life and biodiversity.
I Chimbote får befolkningen astma og kol, så vi kan fodre laks, svin og høns - Danwatch
Der er fiskemel og fiskeolie i masser af den mad, vi spiser, og i det foder, vi giver vores kæledyr. Men produktionen af fiskemel og fiskeolie i Peru giver store sundhedsproblemer og voldsom forurening af havet.