|Dead fish are seen in Zijiang River in Xinshao county, Central China’s Hunan province, August 11, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]|
CHANGSHA – A large number of fish were found dead over the past week in a river in CentralChina’s Hunan province, local environmental authorities said.
The dead fish, both wild and artificially bred, were found in a 55-km-long section of the ZijiangRiver in Xinshao county, said Luo Chunyi, head of the county’s environmental protectionbureau.
Over 130 families running fish farms in Xinshao have experienced a collective loss of more than200 metric tons of fish, with direct economic losses reaching 20 million yuan ($3.1 million), saidXiao Songhai, the county’s deputy head.
The exact number of dead wild fish cannot be ascertained at the present time, Xiao said.
Lei Xinhua, a fisherman from the county’s village of Changtan, said he first noticed the dead fishlast Friday after he saw a stream of “dark” water running down the river from the Yangxi Bridge,which is located upstream.
More dead fish were found later in the lower reaches of the river, primarily around DaxinTownship and the village of Xiaoxi.
A test of the river’s water conducted by the county’s environmental authorities showed that theamount of dissolved oxygen in the river was significantly lower than what is required for fish tobe able to survive.
The authorities said the test results ruled out the possibility of industrial pollution, but did notprovide an explanation for the river’s low oxygen levels.
The local water resources department is racing to clean up the dead fish, while theenvironmental protection bureau is now monitoring the river’s water quality more closely.
The Zijiang River, one of the province’s four major rivers, runs into Dongting Lake, the country’ssecond-largest freshwater lake.