“Seikongen” risks being barred from Talcahuano

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The Mayor of Talcahuano, Henry Campos, plans to refuse “Seikongen” permission to tie up at wharfside. He fears the rotten salmon will constitute a health risk for the town’s population.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the wellboat “ Seikongen” began its northbound voyage to the port of Talcahuano.

“Seikongen” was submerged for ten months after it sank out from the rural town of Chonchi, just south of Castro on Isla Chiloé, southern Chile, in October last year.

The map shows the location of Talcahuano town. PHOTO: Google

The boat, which still contains around 100 tonnes of rotten salmon on board, could now risk being refused permission to tie up at wharfside in Talcahuano. The rotten fish have produced the toxic gas hydrogen sulphide, which is potentially fatal to human beings. It is intended for the rotten salmon to be transported by truck from the port to a special plant in the town of Florida, around 40 kilometres away.

The prospect of this has Talcahuano’s mayor, Henry Campos, up in arms.

Wednesday he submitted a so-called “Recurso de Protección” to a court of law in Concepción. Briefly this involves that the constitution opens for allowing persons or groups to complain/ protest, if they believe an action breaches constitutional rights.

One of these rights provides the right to live in a pollution-free environment –  a right that Campos believes will be violated if the rotten salmon from “Seikongen” are transported through the city.

The regional director for the Chilean Directorate of Fisheries (Sernapesca), Eduardo Aguilera, said that the reason the “Seikongen” is being towed to Talcahuano, is due to the location here of a shipyard that specialises in repairs of this type of vessel. He also pointed to that the plant in Florida has both the experience and expertise to deal with the rotten salmon.