JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Oxygen depletion, pollutants kill fish in iconic Ho Chi Minh City canal

Friday, April 19, 2019, 17:02 GMT+7
Oxygen depletion, pollutants kill fish in iconic Ho Chi Minh City canal
A dead fish washes up on a muddy bank of the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Pollutants and toxins washed into a major Ho Chi Minh City canal by consecutive early-morning rains over the past two days have killed massive amounts of fish and forced many more to rise to the surface for oxygen.

Hundreds of dead fish began rising to the surface of the 8.7-kilometer Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal on Thursday morning, the result of unseasonal rainfall early Wednesday and Thursday mornings which disrupted the canal’s delicate ecosystem.

According to officials, toxic organic matter from nearby storm drains was pushed into the canal by rainwater, leading to the mass fish death.

Additionally, low tides also caused the water level in the canal to drop, allowing toxic gases from the bottom of the canal to be aerated into the water, depleting oxygen levels and suffocating fish.

A large number of fish could be seen early Thursday morning swimming toward the surface in an attempt to find oxygen.

Workers from an urban environmental company rode on motorboats to retrieve dead fish and pollutants from the canal later that same day.

Some local residents also collected the dead fish for food, but officials have warned that fish from the polluted waterway present a serious food safety hazard.

Dead fish and pollutants are collected from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Dead fish and pollutants are collected from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

This is not the first time fish have died on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal following rains in Ho Chi Minh City.

In May 2016, a similar situation in which rainfall washed polluted water into the canal led to the deaths of 70 metric tons of fish.

The Nhieu Loc–Thi Nghe canal snakes through District 1, District 3, Phu Nhuan District, Binh Thanh District and Tan Binh District.

Heavily polluted and dubbed a ‘dead canal’ in the 1950s, it was revitalized following an expensive clean-up project, the first phase of which was completed in 2012.

The canal suffers from pollution due to its link to a sewage system which services many neighborhoods in Tan Binh District, said Tran Van Son, deputy head of the agency charged with inspecting water quality in Ho Chi Minh City.

“The water [of Nhieu Loc–Thi Nghe] is almost stagnant, while other canals in the city are linked with nearby waterways and connect to the Saigon River,” he elaborated.

Floating bodies of dead fish are seen on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Floating bodies of dead fish are seen on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Fish rise to the water surface for breathing on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Fish rise to the water surface for breathing on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Workers collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Workers collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Locals collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Locals collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Workers collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Workers collect dead fish from the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City on April 18, 2019. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Latest news

Table Mountain wildfire threatens University of Cape Town

A wildfire on the slopes of South Africa's Table Mountain forced University of Cape Town students to evacuate on Sunday, as runaway flames set several campus buildings ablaze and firefighters used helicopters to water-bomb the area