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Environmental scandal in Chile
Date:6/22/2010

"The diseased fish were obviously not disposed of properly and, in some cases, simply sunk in the water in plastic bags," reports Vester. Her photographs show discarded, dead and partly eaten salmon. "It would appear that this is how the virus managed to enter the ecosystem," concludes the biologist. It is not possible to quantify the effects of this infestation on the native flora and fauna.

In their report published in the journal Nature, the Gttingen researchers suggest that the salmon industry, local fishermen and environmental protection organisations join forces in seeking a solution to this problem. A joint approach of this kind has already been tested in countries like Italy, Australia and the USA. The aim must be to ensure that, in addition to those of the salmon farms, the rights of the local fishermen and the environment are asserted. This is the only way that sustainable tourism can be established as a new sector with good prospects in the region.

The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gttingen researches complex systems from very wide-ranging areas in physics, information technology and biology. Heike Vester's research project involves the study of the complex communication between social whales, such as pilot and killer whales. As part of her study, the biologist has collected and compared sound recordings and behavioural studies from northern Norway and southern Chile with a view to identifying variations in the sound patterns of the two geographically divided populations. The aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of the composition and structure of the sounds and their use. This could contribute to the identification of important steps in the evolution and development of the formation of sounds by these animals. Heike Vester has visited Chile every year since 2008 on the invitation of the Chilean Center for Scientific Tourism to study how sustainable tourism could be developed there.


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Contact: Dr. Birgit Krummheuer
birgit.krummheuer@ds.mpg.de
49-551-517-6668
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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