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Earthquake forces Chilean fishermen to move: old port too shallow to operate

Friday, July 30th 2010 - 06:10 UTC
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Concepción suffered extensive damage during the earthquake  Concepción suffered extensive damage during the earthquake

Chilean fishermen are still feeling the effects of the Feb. 27 earthquake. Infrastructure damage from the earthquake has forced more than 200 fishermen to relocate from the city of Lebu near Concepcion to the port of Coquimbo, a city to the north.

The fishermen say they will remain in Coquimbo until September, when the schools of fish return to the South.

“After returning from a trip, we get about 10 days to go home and after that, we return to sea for several months,” said Mauricio Poblete, a local fisherman.

“In Lebu, the port rose up with the earthquake, and now most boats, including big ones can’t work,” said Maximo Gomez, another fisherman. “Even smaller boats are having problems, because the stone has been destroyed.”

Each fishing ship carries about 10 people, and an average 10,000 USD is spent on gas and groceries, among other things.

The Coquimbo port’s general manager said he was happy with the arrival of the southern fishermen.

“We are proud to be collaborating with the fishermen from the south, as well as generating work and income into the area,” he said.

He also said that it was customary to receive fishermen from the south every year, although this year he expects to see a 60% increase because of ships from Valparaíso and Talcahuano as well.

By Alanna Nuñez – Santiago Times

Categories: Fisheries, Latin America.

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