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Mass fish deaths in Taiwan’s rivers linked to drought conditions

Workers found more than 1,600kg of dead fish in Pingtung's Minzhi River

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Mass deaths of fish in the Minzhi River in Chaochou Township, Pingtung County (Chachou Township Office photo)

Mass deaths of fish in the Minzhi River in Chaochou Township, Pingtung County (Chachou Township Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — It is suspected that mass fish deaths in two rivers may be due to not enough oxygen in the water because of drought conditions in Taiwan.

A video clip taken by a resident of Zhudong Township, Hsinchu County shows fish in the Zhongxing River swim into a pool of shallow water on a practically desiccated riverbed. Here they jump and then die, CNA reported.

Local residents said they had never seen such a dire situation for fish. Zhudong Township Secretary Tao Geng-sheng (陶更生) told CNA that such mass deaths had never happened before in the Zhongxing River.

It's the same story for fish in the Minzhi River, in Chaochou Township, Pingtung County, which have also been found dead. Workers dispatched by Pingtung County Government on Friday (April 23) scooped out more than 1.6 tons of dead fish from the river.

The county’s Department of Water Resources said low water levels due to the drought had decreased the concentration of oxygen in the water, killing fish such as tilapia. Most smaller fish in the river have survived, the department added.

The Environmental Protection Bureau tested the quality of water in the river and found no issues with the quality, per CNA.