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Saigon Considers Draining Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal to Stop Mass Fish Kills

Saigon authorities are considering several solutions to save marine life in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal.

The Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal was once notorious for being the most polluted waterway in town. However, that was the story more than a decade ago. After a ten-year project to revamp the water channel was completed, residents living in the vicinity could finally breathe again, literally. Now, there’s just one problem, and city officials are having a hard time figuring out why fish keep dying in the canal.

According to Dan Tri, over the last few years there have been many instances of mass fish deaths in Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe. Last year, during the transition period between the dry and rainy season, 10 tons of fish went belly-up, while in 2015, 20 tons of fish in the canal died en masse.

History is repeating itself this year as residents in the neighborhood have reported scores of dead fish after several recent bouts of unseasonal rain. Local authorities cleaned the water with chemical detergents afterwards.

Various relevant government agencies have suggested solutions to the problem. For example, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment proposed transforming the canal into solely an inland waterway while doing away with aquaculture. However, the department didn’t specify what would happen to the remaining fish should this transition be carried out.

Meanwhile the Center of Urban Flood Control Programs advised local officials to reduce pollution by draining the canal and replacing the water with that from the Saigon River. According to their proposal, a pump system capable of moving 64,000 cubic meters per hour will be put to work continuously from April to November, replacing canal water with river water.

Last but not least, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed reducing the fish population in the canal. Currently there are around 470 tons of fish in Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe, mostly tilapia that people have released on occasion. Due to the species’ fast breeding rate, the water channel fails to provide sufficient sustenance for such a large population of fish.

[Photo via Carroll County Times]

Related Articles:

[Photos] Dead Fish Flood Saigon's Nhieu Loc Canal After Heavy Rain

[Photos] Fish Are Suffocating in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal

[Photos] Pollution Kills Tens of Thousands of Fish in Saigon’s Revitalized Canal

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