Salt water levels are said to be blamed on the mass deaths of these freshwater fish according to Chinese researchers.
An amazing 35 tonnes of dead fish floated into a lake in China’s Hainan Island this week sparking a massive clear up by almost 100 sanitation workers.
It is unknown how they got to Hongcheng lake situated in Haikou City but it is thought they were caught in a tidal surge that pushed the corpses up into an estuary and subsequently caught up in a pumping system that deposited them into the lake as reported by USA Today.
The clear up was thought to be done quickly so as to prevent locals from taking them and selling them on at local food markets. The fish corpses were taken to nearby incineration units and landfill sites where they were disposed of.
The reason for the mass death is thought to be down to changes in salinity levels in the water. The fish in question were a type of saltwater herring that are unable to thrive in the freshwater according to Chinese researchers. However, despite the Chinese researchers’ statements, local people are sceptical and believe that it could be down to pollution levels since this isn’t the first time this has happened.
Last year, a commercial fish farm in Guangdong province experienced nearly 1000 tonnes of dead fish after the lake was polluted with cyanide from a nearby chemical plant explosion, but the Marine and Fisheries Agency in Haikou City remain adamant that this isn’t the case in Hainan.
The researchers are working on measures to prevent freshwater and saltwater zones from easily overlapping in the hope to protect freshwater and saltwater fish from swimming into their respective uninhabitable areas.