Large number of fish found dead in moat in Vellore fort

Over 50 kg of fish were removed from the moat by the Fisheries Department 

April 23, 2022 09:04 pm | Updated April 24, 2022 01:14 am IST - VELLORE

A large number of fish were found dead in the moat of the Vellore Fort.

A large number of fish were found dead in the moat of the Vellore Fort. | Photo Credit: C. VENKATACHALAPATHY

A large number of fish were found dead in the moat of the 16th century granite fort in Vellore, mainly due to depletion in the oxygen level in the water.

Officials of the Department of Fisheries said that most of the fish that were found dead in the moat was Jalebi fish (zoological name: Tilapia fillets). The fish is a common variety from fresh and brackish waterbodies. As per estimates, over 50 kg of fish were removed from the moat by the department on Saturday. “Soaring temperature, especially during summer, is also another reason for small fish varieties to die. We are analysing the cause of death,” said an official of the Fisheries Department.

A few days ago, residents noticed the fish floating on the western side of the moat. They alerted the Fisheries Department, who removed the dead fish and collected samples to find the cause of death. Residents said unauthorised discharge of sewage water especially along the canal into the moat might be a major reason for the depletion of oxygen-level in the water, resulting in the death of the fish.

The moat covers more than three kilometres around the fort with an average depth of 29 feet.   At present, the western side of the moat is maintained by the Fisheries Department to cultivate fish for commercial purposes. Catla fish, varying from two to four feet, forms the major fish variety grown. On an average, three tonnes each of major varieties like Catla and Jalebi are netted every year and sold in the local market and in big towns like Arcot, Ranipet, Ambur, Arani and Katpadi.   Due to heavy rain during last monsoon, the moat received good inflow of water from neighbouring Suriyakulam lake and other waterbodies, helping in the growth of fish. With the temperature touching around 40 degree celsius, the water level in the moat has reduced forcing the Fisheries Department to net fish from the moat every day, officials said.

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