Thousands of fish killed at Yacyretá Dam

Back to Resources
First published on
This resource has been tagged as an In the Media

An immense quantity of fish, mostly surubies (catfish), died trapped in the Paraná River and without oxygen on the fish passage ladder at Yacyretá Dam.

Oscar Ruiz Diaz, chief technician of EBY (Yacyretá bi-national agency) admitted the fact, saying it was due to "human error". He said the staff members that were responsible would be fired.

A group of tourists who were visiting the dam first noticed the fish kill. The ABC newspaper from Paraguay published a report saying that 10 tons of fish had been killed, even as the authorities denied anything had happened.

Later, Ruiz Díaz confirmed the accident, and said that "the equipment works correctly. The problem is that people have to open and close the gates on the fish transfer system". This must be done every 25 minutes.

The official denied that 10,000 kilos of fish were killed – he said that, from what he could see, it would not be more than 1,500 kilos. Other sources calculated that 10,000 kilos had in fact been killed.

This fish kill took place during the spawning season, and therefore is considered an environmental crime.