More than 53 tonnes of fresh water fish locally known as “popocha” began to float up in the Cajititlan lagoon last week, Jalisco state, western Mexico, prompting extensive investigations into the cause of deaths. This is the fourth unexplained fish kill at the same lagoon this year.
According to the Jalisco state environment agency, some 130 fishermen from the town of Tlajomulco continued to pull dead fish out of the water on Monday, September 1, and buried them in pits.
Jalisco state environment secretary Magdalena Ruiz Mejia said that such deaths were more and more frequent due to “bad management of the body of water.”
While authorities are conducting tests and environmental prosecutors investigate local wastewater treatment plants the Tlajomulco town officials warn that deaths are actually the result of cyclical change in water temperature that caused oxygen to drop.
The local fishermen agree with Tlajomulco officials, saying that other fish species would have been killed if it was a case of contamination.
“We don´t want this problem to worsen because we would end up in the street,” said Rigoberto Diaz, a local fisherman who fears that other species such as tilapia, which unlike popocha is edible, will die too.
Some 500 tonnes of fish died in a Jalisco lagoon during July 2013 after a company that made food for livestock without a permit dumped huge amounts of molasses into the water.
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