Massive fish kill hits Tai Po fish culture zones

December 24, 2015 15:07
Tens of thousands of fish were found dead in fish culture zones in Sam Mun Tsai and Tolo Harbour. Photos: Apple Daily,

Tens of thousands of fish were found dead in fish farms in Tai Po's Sam Mun Tsai, their floating bodies scattered across nearly a kilometer of the Tolo Harbour.

A fish culture zone owner in Yim Tin Tsai Village, surnamed Lau, said dead fish started surfacing on Monday, but their number surged on Tuesday, with two to three hundred catties of Sabah Giant Grouper and Green Grouper worth tens of thousands of dollars lost, Apple Daily reported.

A fisherman estimated that over 10,000 Sabah Giant Grouper were found dead across the fish culture zones and Tolo Harbour, with many washed ashore.

Tai Po District Council member Lau Che-shing said at least 10 owners of fish culture zones have reported massive fish kills and sought help from authorities.

The Marine Department has already removed up to four tons of dead fish from nearby waters in recent days, while about two tons were collected ashore, he said.

Lau has urged authorities to disclose the results of water quality tests as soon as possible and provide financial assistance to affected fish farmers.

Hong Kong Fishery Alliance chairman Keung Yin-man said fish farm owners tend to throw dead fish into the sea in the absence of a proper disposal system, and this could only worsen the water quality at Tolo Harbour.

Keung said the government should offer to buy back the dead fish to discourage them from further polluting the sea.

A spokesperson for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said it is conducting an investigation and trying to determine the amount of losses incurred by the fish farmers.

The AFCD said there were no reports of massive fish kills around Yim Tin Tsai Village over the last five years, adding that test results of water samples should be available after the Christmas holiday.

However, the newspaper cited at least three cases of fish kills in waters off Yim Tin Tsai Village from 2005 to 2011.

In November 2012, some 50,000 fish worth nearly a million dollars were killed in a span of several weeks as a result of sediments dredged up from the seabed by a sand barge, the report said.

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