SANTIAGO – More than 2,000 artisanal fishermen in the southern Chilean archipelago of Chiloe intensified on Tuesday their protests over a ban on fishing in the area due to a red tide.
Fishermen blocked some of the main roads on Chiloe Island, the largest in the archipelago, to reject the government offer of 100,000 pesos (about $151) per family to make up some of the income lost to the ban.
The payment should be at least 400,000 pesos (roughly $600), according to Pedro Pairo, leader of one of the fishermen’s unions.
The protests began Monday after representatives of the fishermen met with the governor of the Los Lagos region, Leonardo de la Prida, and continued past midnight.
Authorities imposed the fishing ban a few weeks ago after detecting high concentrations of paralytic shellfish poison in shellfish.
Red tide is caused by excessive proliferation of microalgae with high concentrations of toxins.
Consumption of seafood contaminated by red tide is blamed for 23 deaths in Chile since 1972.