Thousands of dead fish found in Kam Tin River

November 26, 2015 15:25
Authorities have begun a clean-up operation after finding heaps of dead fish in a river in northwest New Territories. Photos: Ming Pao Daily, Google Maps

Tens of thousands of fish were found dead and decomposing in Yuen Long's Kam Tin River, with authorities not sure of the reason behind the phenomenon, Ming Pao Daily reported. 

The Drainage Services Department, which is responsible for maintenance of the river, said it has made arrangements for a clean-up operation after it received reports of massive fish deaths.

Most of the dead fish were flathead mullet.

Cleaning workers arrived at the scene and began netting the dead fish. As of 5 pm Wednesday, the team had netted over 2,500 dead flathead mullet.

The dead fish were found along a one-kilometer-long trail. 

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it contacted a fish pond in Nam Sang Wai, but that facility has not reported any abnormal fish deaths in that area.

Chong Dee-hwa, president of the Ichthyological Society of Hong Kong, pointed out that flathead mullet is a freshwater fish and that it is usually able to survive in tough conditions.

However, the pollution in the river may have been too much as some factories could be discharging toxic chemicals into the waters.

As Hong Kong is now in a dry season with low rainfall, the accumulated toxic chemicals may have reached such a level that they could have killed the fish.

At the same time, Chong also did not rule out the possibility of some people dumping dead fish into the river on purpose, or some fishing vessel accidentally spilling its cargo.

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