|At least 1,700 tonnes of fish died in Lake Maninjau, West Sumatra, in December 2021. (Photo by= Hafrijal Syandri)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] JAKARTA: Thousands of fish have died in the past few weeks in Indonesia's Lake Maninjau, West Sumatra, highlighting both the environment as well as human factors in contributing to the decades-old problem. In December, more than 1,700 tonnes of fish were found dead in the lake located about 115 km from West Sumatra’s provincial capital of Padang, said authorities.
Mr Handria Asmi, head of Tanjung Raya sub-district where the picturesque lake lies said that unexpected extreme weather due to climate change could be one of the causes of the mass fish deaths. However, Mr Asmi said that recent research conducted by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences shows that extreme weather may not be the main reason for the phenomenon.
He said that human activities including overfishing and overfeeding in the lake causing water pollution, could also contribute to the fish deaths. “Today, our lake is polluted, one of which is because it is contaminated with fish food. When the wind is strong, the fish food is turned upside down, so the oxygen in the water is reduced and the fish of course lacks oxygen,” said Mr Asmi. Besides, Lake Maninjau is also a volcanic lake and the presence of sulphur contributes to the fish deaths as well, he added.