China to release pollution-fighting fish in lake

Authorities in eastern China have
said they will release 20 million algae-eating fish into one of the
nation’s most scenic lakes that has been ravaged by
pollution.

 Taihu Lake, which straddles Zhejiang
and Jiangsu provinces, has been severely polluted by sewage as well
as industrial and agricultural waste, triggering a blue-green algae
plague.

Authorities started using fish to try
to clean up the lake in February last year when they released
10 million mostly green and silver carp into the water, after the
algae tainted the drinking supply of millions of
residents.

Over the next few days, around 20
million more algae-eating fish will be released into the water, the
Taihu Lake
Fisheries Management Committee
said in a statement
Monday.

The campaign, funded by the
government and public donations, cost a total of 8.6 million yuan
(1.3 million dollars), according to the statement.

A silver carp can consume 50
kilogrammes (110 pounds) of algae and other plankton in its
lifetime while gaining only one kilogramme in weight, authorities
have said.

Millions of algae-eating fish have
been used in the past to clean up Taihu and other lakes, with
previous efforts hailed as a boon for the local fishing
industry
despite concerns over consumption of fish that have
feasted on toxins.

Algae blooms, which are common on
freshwater lakes in China, are chiefly caused by the presence of
untreated sewage containing high concentrations of nitrogen, a main
ingredient in detergents and fertilisers.

China’s
environment has suffered severely amid the nation’s breakneck
economic growth over the past three decades.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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