What’s Causing Mass Fish Death in India’s Ponds and Lakes?

Environmental News from India: 

  • Every year, several ponds and lakes across various Indian states become sites of mass fish deaths.
  • The primary cause for this phenomenon is water pollution, most often stemming from anthropogenic activities.
  • A key parameter of water quality is dissolved oxygen which can indicate the capacity of a water body to support aquatic life. In a survey of water bodies across six Indian states, not a single water body had a dissolved oxygen range, where all fish can survive.

In April 2022, several images of dead fish floating in the Banganga tank, located in Mumbai’s Malabar hill area, circulated on news sites and social media platforms. Clean up efforts were initiated after locals observed the dead fish in the tank and informed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The contractor appointed for the clean-up claimed that four trucks of fish were removed from the site. Officials speculated that the loss of oxygen was the likely cause of the mass fish deaths.

This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. Mass fish death in the Banganga tank has been labelled an “annual tragedy” in previous years. One key cause that has been identified for the fish deaths is people putting large quantities of food in the water as part of religious rituals.

In a separate case, more recently, a huge number of fish were found dead in a five-kilometre upstream stretch of the Najafgarh drain along the Delhi-Haryana border. Initial reports speculate that these deaths could be because of fertiliser pollution in the river which cause algal blooms that in turn deplete the water of oxygen, killing aquatic life.

Numerous ponds, lakes and other water bodies across India have been sites of mass deaths of fish and other aquatic species. The chief cause of this phenomenon is water pollution, most often stemming from anthropogenic activities.

To read top environmental news from India, please visit https://earth5r.org 

Source: Mongabay

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