30 MILLION dead fish wash up along 30Km of Lake Poopo in Bolivia

Fish Kill Alert

A “carpet” of about 30 kilometers, stretching along the shore of Lake Poopó, consisting of approximately 30 million dead fish, including mackerel and Karachis, which was described by community members in the nearby town of Untavi, as one of the worst tragedies that happen to live in the region.

On the banks of Lake Poopó, following a complaint filed on December 6, one can see three rows of dead fish. The center is the thickest, about a meter wide, up to two in some sectors, which resembles a vast and endless “carpet”. The other two are thinner, one of them, the farther the lake was partially cleaned by community sector.

It is calculated “roughly” that could reach well over 30 million dead fish, including mackerel and Karachis of different ages, from fry until the adults were ready to become marketable product.


Currently there is no official report on what caused this tragedy, but some hypotheses are handled. The pollution of the lake, is one of the few inhabitants and supporting local fishermen, however preliminary results of studies conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock Service (SEDAG), show no polluting waste in the water.

The other hypothesis says that climate change caused the reduction of water; it would have been heated by the situation, generating less oxygen in the lake to fish; Added to that a wind of about 70 kilometers per hour (kmph) dragged close to the shore, where they could not return to be stunned by the lack of oxygen, being on the floor in agony.

The official report on what happened, would be known today. But fishermen await further action by the municipality of Toledo, where they belong, and the Interior, to find solutions to the conflict that is generated from the tragedy, for about 170 families are affected by the death of fish .

“There has been fishing, so far no one has caught anything, come to seek in vain, nowhere found. We have no hope of returning to the lake,” says sadly Jhon Mendoza, fisherman.

Meanwhile Valerio Rojas Flores, also a fisherman in the area, said they will seek help from the authorities. “Unfortunately up makes us want to mourn, because we never thought to see such natural disasters. We want to be emphatic that the disaster has not been simple, but catastrophic. Let’s get together to draw conclusions from the tragedy and negotiate with the Government some kind help because many (community members) will no longer even have to bring food home, “he said.


Something that caught my attention was the number of birds fell dead after the fish start to appear on the lakeshore. The director of SEDAG, Severo Choque, indicates that the strong wind caused his downfall and subsequent death, but the locals doubt it.

Parihuanas, mallards, Khasas and taracas are bird species whose bodies remain on the shore of Lake Poopó. It is very difficult to quantify the number of deaths, but some community believe that would exceed 500 and may even be more than 1,000 deceased animals.

It is expected that the official report presented by the Government on Tuesday, all doubts are dispelled and can undertake an action plan to prevent future disasters.

Courtesy of La Patria



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3 responses to “30 MILLION dead fish wash up along 30Km of Lake Poopo in Bolivia”

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