For the past two days, thousands of dead fish have been washed ashore along the coast at Besant Nagar or found floating in the estuary of the Adyar near the broken bridge. Fishermen of Urur Kuppam, who have been removing fish from the water and throwing them on the shore, wonder whether the deaths are due to lack of dissolved oxygen in water.
“This is the breeding season for fish and they enter the estuary in large numbers. As the rainwater has pushed a lot of sludge towards the sea, the water at that point is polluted leading to these deaths. It happens almost every year. But this year, it looks like thousands of fish are dead. Some of them have turned black. Some are quite big in size, which is a sad thing,” said Karunakaran of Urur Kuppam.
Fishermen have collected some of them and salted them to be used as dry fish ( Karuvaadu ).
G. Sundarrajan of NGO Poovulagu Nanbargal said the loss of fish at this time would mean a reduction in production in the area next year.
“Already fish production is on a downward trend due to acidification of the oceans. The government needs to ensure that sewage treatment plants function well even during rains. Untreated sewage might have caused the deaths,” he said.