(KPL) Almost 400 kg of fish have been found floating dead in the sanctuary of the Nam Ngao River in Poungnanoun, Huay Xai district, Bokeo Province and local authorities have said that chemicals are likely to be blamed for the incident.
Chief of Poungnanoun village, Mr Khamphan Luangluexay told KPL News on Feb 13 that the fish have been found floating dead on the river since the night of Feb 12. Most of the dead fish were tilapia, Chinese carp, perch, and Poropuntius- deauratus.
“I and villagers have inspected the area which stretches along the sanctuary of the Nam Ngao River. We found an empty plastic chemical bottle and have detained a suspect,” said Mr Khamphan.
The suspect is yet to admit whether he was behind the death of the fish.
Dead fish have been also found downstream from the river sanctuary in the villages of Nongkham and Thimonsin.
The Nam Ngao sanctuary stretches over 1.5 km with a main part located in Pongnanoun village. It is a protected area where native aquatic species are protected.
“We have warned the villagers about the dead fish through loudspeakers. We warned them not to eat or sell the dead fish within or outside the district,” said Mr Khamphan.
The Bokeo Provincial Health Department medical team, in cooperation with relevant authorities from the Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources and Environment, and the three villages have given blood check services to more than 20 people who have reportedly eaten the dead fish and health check up services for people living in nearby communities, according to the Director of the Bokeo Provincial Health Department, Khamphaya Phompanya.
Samples of the dead fish, along with some contaminated water and the chemicals are being sent to Vientiane Capital for laboratory examination, said Dr Khamphaya.