Chile’s Red Tide: On the Catastrophe of the Salmon Farms and Maritime Devastation
An anarchist critique and propaganda unto the deranged machinery of death
“Ecosystems will mutate rapidly and radically thanks to human stupidity, expressed in buckets of genetic manipulation. Once a new agent or gene is released on an ecosystem, it cannot recuperate itself: the ecosystem mutates. The number of variables is infinite, impossible to predict, impossible to regulate and there is no turning back: once an ecosystem is modified it cannot go back to what it was. One mistake kills hundreds of species, and mutates many others…. And human beings do not live beyond the ecosystem.” Anticivilization Manifesto
“The last few catastrophes were not caused by ‘nature,’ they were caused by Capitalist configuration of the space affected.” 8 Critical Hypothesis on the latest ecological catastrophes in Chile.
Devastation and extraction have reached disproportionate levels of death and toxicity. The true and only face of Capital, the State, and their technocrats demonstrate the misery of their path of destruction.
The exploitation of nature has always been a necessary condition for the accumulation of Capital and Power. All societal machinery (understood as a hierarchical relationship as a fundamental principle) functions through the exploitation of the earth, the sea, living beings and all which can be considered part of enriching its merchandise. The use of fossil fuels are an example of this, carbon emissions and whatever else allows them to make more weapons for their wars and generate new forms of control. This is not chauvinism speaking; it is the crude reality of a monster with tentacles!
In recent time, we have bared witness to the arrogance of the salmon farms, the State, their authorities that endorse these farms, and their technocrats that sicken us with their justifications. These companies glorify themselves by claiming they provide jobs, doing nothing else than impose capitalist ways of life in areas where people still manage to live differently. It is here where they have left death in their path, where they install their machinery and cause social disaster in communities both in material dispossession, as well as with the natural surroundings.
The same company (Marine Harvest) that introduced the salmon virus in so-called Chilean territory, now uses 5 times as many chemicals in the water than they did two years ago. The salmon are in a situation of enclosure and holocaust, introduced as objects in disgusting cages to the taste of hungry citizens for consumption. The salmon industry had been affected by “sea fleas,” bacteria, and viral sickness in situations of environmental collapse the Patagonian sea could not detain. The face of this agony is seen today in the Regions of Los Lagos and Aysen, with thousands of rotting salmon reaching the shores of the austral region after having been killed by the algae bloom by the very industry and services supported by the State.
It isn’t a climate phenomenon which unleashed the Red Tide that caused the disaster. It isn’t just rising sea temperatures, the lack of winds, the high solar radiation. But mainly, it is also the eutrophication of the ocean from the stellar enrichment of nutrients generated by the Salmon farming industry, from companies such as SERNAPESCA and SUBPESCA in the Patagonian ocean, supported by the State, hiding behind the broader issue of climate change. The eutrophication of the ocean not only reflects the appearance of the “Red Tide” or algae blooms, but also the anaerobic (or suffocating) conditions in the ocean, due to the amount of organic material (or carbon) within the water that surpasses the capacity of the ecosystem to absorb, recycle or dispense of waste. An anaerobic condition is a situation in which aquatic life cannot survive, due to the low levels of oxygen dissolved in the water or sediment. The Salmon farming industry supports this condition perpetually, since every kilogram of salmon feed placed in the ocean is equal in nitrogen to the sewage waste of 15 people.