Pollution has been blamed for a striking phenomenon which has left a lagoon in Argentina coloured bright pink.

The colour of the Corfo lagoon and Chubut river, in the southern Patagonia region, is caused by sodium sulphite – an anti-bacterial product used in fish factories.

People living in the area have often complained about nasty smells around the area.

Environmental activist Pablo Lada blamed the Government for the contamination, adding: ‘Those who should be in control are the ones who authorise the poisoning of people.’

He said the lagoon turned pink last week and was still the same colour as of yesterday.

Environmental engineer and virologist Federico Restrepo said the colouration was due to the chemicals in the fish waste which should be treated before being dumped, according to the law.

The lagoon receives receives run-off from the Trelew industrial park, but is not used for recreation.

But this is not the first time it has happened and residents have become increasingly fed up with the pollution.



Residents of Rawson – a city next to the industrial park – recently blocked roads to protest against lorries carrying processed fish waste through the streets to treatment plants.

Mr Lada said: ‘We get dozens of trucks daily, the residents are getting tired of it.’

Local authorities then granted authorisation for factories to dump their waste in the Corfo lagoon instead. 

Environmental chief for Chubut province Juan Micheloud insisted last week: ‘The reddish colour does not cause damage and will disappear in a few days.’

But Sebastian de la Vallina, planning secretary for the city of Trelew, responded: ‘It is not possible to minimise something so serious.’ 

The fish plants in the area, which process mainly prawns and hake for export, generate thousands of jobs in the area.

A number of fishing companies from abroad are allowed to operate in the area under Argentina’s Atlantic jurisdiction. 

Mr Lada added: ‘Fish processing generates work… it’s true. But these are multi-million-dollar profit companies that don’t want to pay freight to take the waste to a treatment plant that already exists in Puerto Madryn 35 miles away, or build a plant closer.’

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