SUKKUR: Thousands of fish were witnessed dead in the off-taking Canals of Sukkur Barrage after allegedly poisonous chemicals poured into the water on Wednesday. According to reports, after the Sukkur Barrage closed for maintenance and repairs, the gates at the head of the canals were opened and water allowed to flow downstream into the river.
The water collected in small ponds at various sites of the canals found that greedy fishing businessmen poured poisonous chemicals in these ponds to kill mostly the juvenile fish at massive scale. The dead fish then collected in bags and taken to markets for sale. These fish also sold to poultry industry for use as poultry feed.
The practice is a public health hazard, as fish died by poison pose threat to the health of consumers. The district administration and concerned department, have, failed to take any action against the perpetrators. The hazardous practice is not new as it being repeated every year in the days of annual closure of Sukkur Barrage for maintenance and repair.
In previous years, reports about a large number of dead fish found in the Rice and Nara canals, which were believed to have died as a result of the poisonous chemicals. The substance was said to be so hazardous that it had allegedly caused the deaths of a number of rare blind Indus dolphins over the past few years.
According to locals, the fishermen pour the chemicals into the water late at night and then send their children to collect the dead fish in the morning. The dead fish is either sold to fish farmers to be used as feed or to the poultry industry.