Authorities are still scratching their heads over what killed 35 tonnes of fish all of a sudden, which washed up in a frightful sight in south China this week.
The fish floated to the surface of the Hongcheng lake, located in the Hainan island, China's southernmost point. The government is investigating the cause of their death, but experts speculate that it might be due to fluctuations in the water's saline levels, reports China Daily.
A researcher with the Haikou Oceanic and Fishery Bureau, Lu Yongliang, said the fish came from the larger Nandu River, and were swept into the Hongcheng lake with the tide, where they died from the sudden drop in salinity.
The saltwater fish are not meant to thrive in freshwater; more water is forced to enter their bodies from the freshwater lake, causing their blood vessels to rupture, Chinese researchers explained.
Despite the experts' statements, the public has been skeptical and are speculating that the fish have died from pollution.
In August last year, tonnes of dead fish rose to the surface in Tianjin port, after they were poisoned by cyanide in the water that was 277 times beyond the acceptable level. The cyanide had come from two massive chemical plant explosions, which tainted the water with toxic chemicals.
Authorities in Tianjin, however, explained the dead fish as a salinity change.
City workers in Hainan have been busy removing the fish from the shores and bagging them for incineration plants and landfill sites.
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