Millions of fish are washing up on Mexico’s Pacific coast with officials saying local factories are to blame.
The freshwater fish have been washing up along the shores of Lake Cajititlan in the state of Jalisco.
Local media reports that an estimated 40 tons of popoche chub freshwater fish have mysteriously died.
One local official described the fish deaths as a “natural, cyclical phenomenon” that occurs each year, however other local and state authorities have blamed the deaths on poor lake management.
Authorities are focusing their investigation on a nearby wastewater treatment plant that may be failing to filter out the untreated material before it enters the lake. Environmental inspectors investigating the mass die-off say that they have found problems with waste discharges from a local food processing plant.
On Tuesday, the attorney general’s office for environmental protection said the problems involved waste waters from a coffee processing plant and two fish packing plants in Puerto Chiapas.
Local fisherman continue to remove the masses of dead fish from the lake. The port is located along the Pacific coast near the Guatemalan border.
Officials say they are assessing the situation for possible fines against the plants for not properly registering or handling discharges.