By Shannon Najmabadi
In case pig carcasses and avian flu weren’t distressing enough, hundreds of dead fish have recently been discovered on the shore of a man-made river in Shanghai’s Songjiang district.
A total of 250 kilograms of dead fish, predominantly crucian carp, have been retrieved from the suburban Sijing Pond since April 3. Officials insist that the water supply is safe and that they will continue to closely monitor water quality.
This is not the first time local residents have seen an abnormal amount of dead fish in the water. Though samples have been sent to Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission for investigation, the cause of the fish’s death is still unknown.
An official from Songjiang Water Authority surnamed Zhang told China Daily that the fish may have died due to illegal fishing using electrocution and poisoning.
The possibility of pollution has been ruled out after water quality tests were conducted Friday and Saturday. The test results showed that levels of dissolved oxygen and ammonia nitrogen in the water were within the standard range. The acid and alkali readings were also normal.
The Global Times added that:
Investigations of nearby factories showed that they did not discharge poison pollutants into the river and have nothing to do with the incident, said Cao Haiyun, an official for the Songjiang Environmental Protection Bureau.
The director of Songjiang’s water authority, Gao Yunchu, told China Daily that smaller fish with weaker body defense systems were discovered dead in early April. The carcasses of larger fish, like carp, were found on Saturday.
Liu Fengqiang, vice-director and spokesman of Songjiang district’s environmental department, said the dead fish are not connected to the H7N9 bird flu nor the thousands of dead pig carcasses discovered in the Huangpu River last month.
However, the presence of thousands of pig carcasses, an outbreak of avian flu, and mysterious dead fish all combine to make the conditions in Shanghai seem nearly apocalyptic.
Additionally, with potential environmental or health hazards associated with pork, poultry and now fish, it seems that Shanghai residents are going to be hard-pressed to find an untainted protein-supply.