Antofagasta Fish Market

Submitted by Danny Catt on Thu, 2007/02/08 - 1:10pm.

Fish for Sale, Antofagasta Fish Market, ChileFish for Sale, Antofagasta Fish Market, Chile

Ships filled with tourists rarely stop in Antofagasta, Chile but when they do they are welcomed with open arms. Antofagasta, is the largest city in northern Chile, and is a modern, clean and progressive coastal metropolis. It is also within the Atacama Desert and if you are looking for a place that receives very little rain, Antofagasta is it… the average annual rainfall is less than 4 mm.

Our plan for the day was to do a bit of shopping (I needed to pick up a field guide to the birds of Chile) and wander around town. Our meandering led us to the fish market… and where there are fish, there are often animals that feed on fish!

Sea Lions, Antofagasta, Chile

Sea Lions, Antofagasta, Chile

For a wildlife enthusiast the foreshore next to the Antofagasta fish market was a virtual Serengeti! Not only were there birds (pelicans, gulls, herons, etc) but also sea lions and even sea turtles.

Sea Turtle & Gull, Antofagasta, Chile

Sea Turtle & Gull, Antofagasta, Chile


We went for a wander into the market itself where fish sellers were showing there catch and fish filleters (is that what you call someone who fillets fish?) were preparing the best cuts for sale. The place was also filled with cats waiting for a scrap to fall between the cracks. We were even allowed to sneak back into the area where the fish were stored and had a chance to get some fabulous photos of the birds looking to catch a free meal.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

It goes to show that you don’t always have to go far, or pay big bucks, to experience something special. The hour or two we spent at the Antofagasta fish market were as good as they come.

We boarded the ship in late afternoon and as we were led out of the harbour by the local port pilot boats the passengers and crew of the MS Prinsendam were treated to something I have never experienced before. A crowd of well over a thousand, all residents of Antofagasta, were lined up shoulder to shoulder along the shore waving and shouting goodbye (or adios!). It was a heart-warming gesture.

Residents of Antofagasta, Chile Saying Adios to the MS PrinsendamResidents of Antofagasta, Chile Saying Adios to the MS Prinsendam

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Submitted by Pikake on Thu, 2007/02/08 - 4:57pm.

Hi Danny,

Having lived in Antofagasta for a short time, I really enjoyed reading your account. I have some great shots of the birds (especially the pelicans and sea gulls) waiting for a tender fish morsel. You can also get some of the best mariscos - mmm good. And for a very reasonable price.

I had to laugh about all the people waving good-bye. There isn't much to do in that small town!

I liked your account of the Atacama. I have been up to the Escondida Copper Mine up in the mountains. Tragic what a strip mine will do to this beautiful earth.

Great to see you back among the connected!

Gorgeous photographs, hombre!

PS: isn't it a fishmonger to prepares and sells fish?

Submitted by Shamina (not verified) on Thu, 2007/02/08 - 6:51pm.

Hi D,

Altitude sickness, as you must know is caused because the body is adjusting to lower levels of oxygen. Keeping yourself well hydrated can prevent altitude sickness. So drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids before your ascent and continue drinking as you climb. Also, another way to prevent it is by gaining height gradually, which helps you to adjust to the new altitudes and lower levels of oxygen.

A few handy tips to keep in mind the next time you decide to conquer new heights :)


PS: isn't a fishmonger someone who sells fish while fish filleter is someone who cleans and cuts/prepares it? 


Submitted by Pikake on Fri, 2007/02/09 - 10:17am.

According the Wikipedia: 

A fishmonger is someone who sells fish and seafood. In some countries modern supermarkets are replacing fishmongers who operate in shops or markets.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, some contend, the word fishmonger was a euphemism for a pimp [1][2]. It is not known if the pejorative use of fish to refer to penis was also implied by this possible usage. It seems more likely that "fish" would refer here not to the male genitalia, but to the female.

Submitted by Shamina (not verified) on Fri, 2007/02/09 - 9:56pm.





That's right about fishmonger.....

Unfortunately Wikipedia does not list fish filleter (someone who cleans and cuts the fish). But you can find it in job listings on google! 

So D you were pretty much correct :)



Submitted by Danny Catt on Wed, 2007/02/14 - 8:18am.

Thanks Terry and Shamina for doing the research on the words. I will be careful about which words I choose next time! :) ... or I will do some research before posting!



Submitted by Shamina (not verified) on Sat, 2007/02/17 - 11:02pm.

No problem...

glad to be of some assistance ;)



Submitted by Apollo (not verified) on Tue, 2007/02/13 - 8:57am.
Hey Danny, I ws wondering if you are afraid of hights?? cosidering that you have to climb mountains. It would be unlucky. Apollo
Submitted by Danny Catt on Wed, 2007/02/14 - 8:16am.

Thanks for your note and question. And no, luckily for me I am not afraid of heights. It was just the altitude that I was having problems with.


Submitted by dud (not verified) on Thu, 2007/02/22 - 2:36pm.

Yo danny have you ever got stiches before

If you have Its cool

have you ever got a broken bone.

answer me ok

send back


Submitted by Danny Catt on Tue, 2007/03/20 - 12:18pm.

Hi there... so far I have been absolutely fine on my journey. No stitches, no broken bones. Thanks for your hello!


Submitted by Brittney M. (not verified) on Thu, 2007/03/15 - 8:23am.

I like your pictures there really great.So did you ever get your camera back?I really think the animals are really cool!!! So keep up the good work!!! Have you gotten any information on any monkeys or jaguars because my class and I are researching some cats and birds and religeons in south america.


Submitted by Danny Catt on Tue, 2007/03/20 - 12:25pm.

Hi Brittney,

Thank you for your message and questions. I have seen some monkeys on my journey (Emperor Tamarin in Peru) and I was able to see the paw prints in Jaguar in the forests of Iguassu National Park in Argentina... but I have not seen any wild cats yet. There are though Puma here in South America as well (also known as the Cougar or Mountain Lion - the same species we have in British Columbia) . When I was in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, we saw the remains of a Guanaco that had been killed by a Puma. Good luck with your research on South America and if you have any specific questions I might be able to answer, please feel free to send them to me and I will do my best to get an answer to you. If you are keen to learn about birds in South America, both Peru and Colombia are amazing countries for birds.