Over 300,000 tilapia dead on Ping River

 | Tue 21 Mar 2023 18:17 ICT
The local fishing community is suffering greatly from losses to the recent summer storms to hit the city.

According to a group of fishermen in Hang Dong District’s Khun Kong community, they are now selling dead tilapia fish at only 20 baht per kilogram, just so they can receive some of their investments back after severe storms killed most of their fish.

According to a representative of the group, the fish died under the deluge of hail earlier this week and the solvable fish had to be sold off very cheaply while most of them had begun to rot and had to be given away to make compost.

”The reason isn’t in fact the hail itself,” said Thanawat Norjai, one of the fishermen in the community, “Our tilapia are kept in a floating basket and when the rains came so heavily it unleashed all of the sewage and filth that had been accumulating in the pipes and systems. When it all finally spread into the Ping River the lack of oxygen was what killed our fish. I had 18 fishing stations and have lost about 80% of them, or around 30,000 fish. In total I have lost half a million baht. When I contacted government authorities, they sold me that it was not their problem, even though it was their lack of management that lead to this.”

Another fisherman told us that he had lost around 45,000 tilapia, totalling nearly one million baht as his fish were mature and weighty. He has bought a machine to generate oxygen in the water, but most of his losses have been donated for compost. The Khun Kong fishing community is the largest of its kind in Chiang Mai and it is estimated that over 50 operators have lost over 300,000 fish.