Puerto Montt’s Boom and Bust
Puerto Montt, Chile. As the capitol of the Chiloé’s fertile Los Lagos region, with a strategic proximity to both the Chiloé archipelago and more lakes then you can shake a stick at, Puerto Montt once thrived as the world’s second largest hub for salmon aquaculture. As a result, the city expanded and reveled like those ephemeral gold towns of the American west or Ned Kelly country Australia. And then in 2007, an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia decimated the local fish population. Around the same time, the entire salmon eating world found itself in a global financial crisis that no longer supported its taste for imported delicacies. Not only were there hardly any fish to go around, but no one could afford to buy them anyway. Even several years later, Puerto Montt stills strikes the casual observer as a bit shabby and over extended. There is something beautifully tragic about a town on pause, awaiting restoration to its former fishy glory. Here are some shots taken over the span of an afternoon back in late November.