|Pollution depletes rare fish
RARE fish, including the Chinese paddlefish and mullet, are under threat as a result of water
pollution in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
A recent study, conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Institute of Hydrobiology,
indicates that the population of paddlefish and mullet has decreased rapidly in recent years. The
Chinese sturgeon has now disappeared from the upper reaches of the river.
In general, the variety of fish has decreased from over 50 in the mid-60's to about 20 today, said
Zhang Guohua, a scientist with the institute.
Over-fishing, water pollution and the construction of water facilities are considered the major
causes of the problem.
The habitat of fish should be protected in order to save rare species, experts agree. However, it
is unrealistic to ban the construction of water facilities, for the river generates electricity, is used
for transportation and has other important functions, they said.
"We could choose one or two tributaries of the river to build reserves for the rare fish," said Cao
Wenxuan, chairman of the executive council of the China Fish Society, and an academician with
the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Cao, after long studies, suggests the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze, as a suitable
natural aquatic reserve.
Almost 110 kinds of fish, including 26 species which only live in the upper reaches of the
Yangtze River, have been discovered there. (Xinhua)
Original source: Xinhua
Submit by CEIN News on 7/12/1999