New alert as dead fish hit Sha Tin river

Local | Yupina Ng 1 Feb 2016

About 100 bags of dead fish were collected from the Shing Mun River at Sha Tin yesterday.

Experts says they might have died in the cold weather last week and have just surfaced.

But a report on a river's water sample last year showed the pH level was 2.9 times higher than normal.

The dead fish piled up along 800 meters of the river bank from residential site Man Lai Court to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

It is the third time dead fish have shown up in the river. Residents are annoyed by the smell and have complained to their district councillor.

The Sha Tin district councillor for Fo Tan, Scarlett Pong Oi-lan, said she has received eight complaints so far.

"We have seen a lot of dead fish outside Sha Tin Jockey Club Swimming Pool, Central Park and the public housing estate Jat Min Chuen," she said. "Some of the big fish's heads have already come off."

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said its contractor picked up one tonne of floating garbage, including dead fish, plants and other types of rubbish, yesterday.

The dean of the Open University of Hong Kong's School of Science and Technology, Ho Kin-chung, said the fish might have been dead for a week because of cold weather.

"A sudden drop in the temperature for example, a seven-degree difference in one to two days would make it difficult for the fish to adjust their body temperature so they die," he said.

He said river pollution has been an on-going problem and might not be related to the large number of dead fish.

But a report done by a private laboratory in Fo Tan in December and provided by Scarlett Pong showed a pH level of 5.7-2.9 times higher than normal.

The report also showed levels of a bacteria that lives in the intestines of people and animals was 1,300 times higher than normal.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said water samples have been taken for lab tests.



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