Waves of cuttlefish wash up on shore in Chile

admin   •   February 13, 2019   •   2075

Dead cuttlefish on the shore and tourists and locals in Bahia Inglesia, Chile on February 10, 2019 | Reuters

Thousands of cuttlefish have mysteriously washed up on shore in Chile’s Bahia Inglesa, amidst pollution fears in this coastal area that is one of the country’s main tourist hotspots.

Locals say such an incident has not happened before, and environmental authorities are investigating and have warned locals not to eat the fish.

There are fears that the waves of dead fish could damage the region’s fishing industry, a major driver of the local economy.

Bahia Inglesa is a popular summer destination for Chile, with thousands attracted to the area’s pristine beaches. — Reuters

Chile in ‘critical situation’ as coronavirus shows no signs of slowing

UNTV News   •   June 23, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to expand seemingly unchecked in Chile, health experts are warning of a “critical situation” facing the country and exponentially higher numbers of deaths if the epidemic is not brought under control.

The virus has exploded in Chile, prompting health officials to lock down the capital Santiago, the country’s economic engine, and force nearly 10 million of its citizens into lockdown.

Chile has confirmed nearly 247,000 cases of coronavirus and 4,502 deaths due to COVID-19.

Chile’s Budget Office said on Monday (June 22) the country’s economy would shrink 6.5% in 2020, a far deeper hole than predicted just two months prior as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the South American country. (Reuters)

(Production: Esteban Medel)

Discarded PPE in seas a ‘new type of pollution’, French cleanup group says

UNTV News   •   June 10, 2020

FRANCE – Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, more and more protective equipment is ending up in the sea, a French clean-up group warned on Tuesday (June 9).

Volunteer divers who are part of the association Operation Mer Propre say they have seen discarded face masks and latex gloves floating underwater during their operations around the French coast for a month.

“For a month now, we’re starting to see these masks. It’s a new type of pollution,” association founder Laurent Lombard told Reuters in an interview via video call.

The main cause is littering, Lombard said.

Since France emerged from a strict eight-week lockdown last month, people are using personal protective equipment (PPE) in public and some are throwing used masks and gloves on the street. When it rains that gets washed into the sea.

Although for the moment PPE constitutes “not even 1 percent” of the total 3 tonnes of trash collected underwater by the group since its foundation last year, Lombard said he is wary that the problem could worsen as the pandemic drags on.

Aware of the situation, government leaders have called on the public to dispose of their used PPE properly.

France’s environment ministry in late May increased fines for these infractions, from 68 to 135 euros, rising to 750 euros depending on the severity of the offence.

Lombard said that the new rule should be strictly enforced.

“The message is really to throw your masks in trash bins,” he said.

“It’s a matter of common sense,” he concluded.

(Production: Ardee Napolitano, George Sargent)

Duterte supports Chile’s decision to cancel APEC hosting

Marje Pelayo   •   November 3, 2019

BANGKOK, Thailand — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for Chile’s decision to cancel its hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit set for November 16 to 17.

“The Office of the President therefore expresses the country’s support for Chile as it made the hard decision of cancelling its hosting of the AELM, taking into consideration the interest and concerns of the Chilean people, as its country endured massive street protests that was propelled by a civil disobedience campaign over metro transit hikes,” Malacañang in a statement through Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday (November 1).

Due to the ongoing public unrest, the Chilean government earlier pulled out as host of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

Duterte earlier confirmed his intention to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting which was supposed to bring together heads of governments to discuss trade relations and investments within the region.

Panelo said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez were supposed to join the President in Chile to meet with their counterparts during this years’  final meetings of APEC Senior Officials, APEC Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministers and Leaders.

Panelo emphasized the Philippines’ trade and commercial relations with APEC economies which, according to the official, accounts for 84% of the total trade of the Philippines worldwide, 82% total exports worldwide, and 85% of its total imports and 64% of foreign direct investment into the Philippines, and 83% of tourist arrivals.

“It is also worth noting that 56% of Filipinos abroad call the APEC region their home, and our overseas Filipino workers in this region account for the 57% of the total annual remittances the we receive in the country. As such, there are 33 Philippine Government agencies engaged in the APEC process,” Panelo said.

“The Palace thanks Chile, which is currently the home to approximately 800 Filipinos, mostly women, for its hard work in advocating for inclusive and sustainable growth in the region, such as by prioritizing women empowerment and promoting micro, small, and medium scale enterprises,” he added.

The Philippine government also expressed its continued support in ensuring that the two countries’ citizens  enjoy the benefits of deeper regional economic integration.

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