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Dead sardines in Guerrero. Dead sardines in Guerrero.

Fishermen charge ecocide, blame CFE for killing 150 tonnes of sardines

They claim the utility killed the fish with chemical discharges in Petacalco, Guerrero

Fishermen in Guerrero have accused the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) of killing approximately 150 tonnes of sardines.

The state-owned electricity utility operates a power plant in Petacalco, a town just south of Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, in the municipality of La Unión de Isidoro Montes de Oca, part of Guerrero’s Costa Grande region.

Petacalco fisherman say the plant is responsible for the death of the sardines because it has dumped chemicals in a canal connected to the Pacific Ocean.

Jesús Campos, leader of a local fishing cooperative, told the newspaper Reforma that the CFE also uses the canal to cool down machinery. Its alleged misuse of the canal has previously caused the death of other marine species, including turtles.

Campos estimated that 150 tonnes of sardines have perished, leaving a stench of dead fish on the beach. He said the CFE hasn’t spoken to fishermen about the massive die-off. The latter have reported the “ecocide” to state and federal authorities and demanded immediate action.

The fishermen say the death of the sardines will affect their ability to work because they use the small fish as bait. Campos said that fishermen have been complaining about the CFE plant for years “but nothing happens.”

“What more does the government want in order to demand that the CFE stop killing us and stop killing nature?” he asked.

Campos said it could take years for the sardine population to recover. The fisherman called on the CFE to send workers to the beach to remove the dead fish, “which are going to start to rot and smell horrible.”

With reports from Reforma and El Sur

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