More than 50 tonnes of dead fish removed from Mexican lake in two days

Locals and environment chiefs point to pollution caused by nearby factories and farms as reason for the hundreds of thousands of dead fish

Hundreds of thousands of dead fish have been removed from a lake in the west of Mexico this weekend, amid speculation that high levels of pollution could be to blame.

Scores of residents from the Mexican town Tlajomulco de Zúñiga in the Mexico’s Jalisco state spent their weekend shovelling over 50 tonnes of apoche chub fish from the 9km long and 2km wide Cajititlán Lake after a mass of dead fish appeared on the lake’s surface.

While the reason for the dead fish is still yet to be fully explained, locals and state environment officials are pointing to pollution caused by the factories and farms situated around the lake’s edge as the reason for the deaths.

One of those factories to be blamed is a tequila distillery that locals say is allowing its poisonous waste to flow directly into the lake.

Others say that recent heavy rain could have led to fertilisers used on nearby farms being washed into the lake allowing the process of eutrophication to occur - a process in which the fertilizers aid the growth of algae on the river’s surface, thereby starving the water of oxygen.

Video: Hundreds of thousands of dead fish appear on Cajititlán Lake

Jalisco's secretary for the environment, Maria Magdalena Ruiz Mejia, admitted that the death of fish in the lake was "categorically” not a “natural and cyclical phenomenon".

She said: "We have no evidence to support that it is natural and cyclical, to the contrary, we have a series of variables which lead us to believe this phenomenon is not only recurrent and becoming more frequent and severe, and caused by the poor management of the body of water."

Manuel Guzman Arroyo, director of the University of Guadalajara’s Fresh Water Institute, believed that the death of fish on this scale was due to the shallowness of the water caused by residents and factories drawing more and more water from the lake.

He said that the increasingly shallower water could have created a situation where there was too little oxygen for the number of fish to survive in the lake and this eventually led to the apoche chubs being starved of oxygen and dying of suffocation.

Read more: Over 400 dead dolphins wash up on beach in Peru
Crow and other animals grieve for their dead

The mass death of fish over the weekend is the latest in a recent spate of fish deaths on the lake. In the last couple of months fishermen have seen an increasing number of dead fish floating to the lake’s surface, but this latest occurrence is by far and away the biggest.

An environmental alert has now been issued for the lagoon which is a popular tourist spot for Mexicans.

It isn’t the first time the state of Jalisco has seen fish die on this scale in one of its lakes. In July 2013, reports said that over 500 tonnes of carp and bream ended up dead when a company that produced food for livestock dumped huge amount of molasses into a river.

Additional Reporting AP


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage

Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree is to be made into a series of films

Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree really is being made into a film

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Deputy Head of Science

£36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...

IT Teacher

£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London