Min River Fisheries Hit by Mass Fish Death in Fujian, China


Fish farmers in southeast China are reeling after millions of fish suddenly died over several days last week. Chinese media estimates eight to nine million farm-bred grass carp died along a section of the Min River in Fujian Province.

The fish started dying on August 27—first in Huangtian town in Gutian County, then downstream in Shuikou town. Fujian’s fishery authorities said on Tuesday that low-oxygen levels in the water caused by recent torrential rain was to blame. But one farmer told the Shanghai Daily that even as they pumped oxygen into the water, fish kept dying in large numbers. Some suspect pollution from nearby industrial waste is the real culprit.

[Mr. Yang, Fish Farmer]:
“The county took samples of water for testing. They say it’s a lack of oxygen. It’s not possible. It wouldn’t cause such a large spread death. I believe its waste from upstream, from manufacturing plants or something.”

Fish farming supports the livelihood of many locals. This footage posted by netizens online shows that now farmers are watching their fish rot in water, instead of selling them on the markets.

[Mr. Yang, Fish Farmer]:
“A lot of fish have died. We’re all broke now. It’s so strange, so many fish have died this year, now the air has a foul smell.”

State-run media reports the fish die-off has affected about 800 fishing families, causing more than 29-million U.S. dollars in economic losses.



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