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Dead fish on the shore of the Laguna de Chautengo. Dead fish on the shore of the Laguna de Chautengo.

Guerrero fishermen seek aid after thousands of dead fish appear in lagoon

At least five tonnes have turned up in the Laguna de Chautengo

Large numbers of fish have died in a Guerrero lagoon in recent days, leading local fishermen to appeal to authorities for financial support.

The Laguna de Chautengo, located on the Pacific coast in the Costa Chica region of the southern state, is currently awash with five to six tonnes of dead fish.

Fisherman have blamed the mass die-off on the presence of lime and other substances that are used to clean shrimp ponds in the lagoon.

Fisherman have called on federal and state authorities to provide aid given that their income has dried up.

The ecology director of the government in Florencio Villareal, the municipality where the lagoon is located, told reporters that the die-off affects several communities including Chautengo, Pico del Monte, Llano de la Barra and Tamarindos. Fish have died in the lagoon in previous years but not on the scale that has occurred recently.

“It’s very probable that we’ll need some state subsidies, even … temporary employment [opportunities] because the economy of the locals has been affected,” Adame said.

He said the municipal government has provided food aid but more help is needed. The ecology official also said that a scientific study is needed to determine what caused the fish to die. Once that is established, steps can be taken to resolve the problem, Adame said.

The Laguna de Chautengo is not the only body of water in Guerrero where large numbers of fish have recently died. Fishermen in the Tierra Caliente municipality of Ajuchitlán del Progreso have denounced the death of thousands of mojarra in the Las Garzas dam.

Fishermen say the National Water Commission is responsible for the ecocide because they have not properly managed the dam’s water and it has consequently dropped to a critical level.

With reports from El Sol de México and Milenio

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