Chakri Day Sees 3.4 Million Fish Released into Polluted Ping River

 | Wed 9 Apr 2014 10:03 ICT

CityNews – On Chakri Day, which was on Sunday, 6th April, Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Puttiwinyu headed a ceremony where 3.4 million fish were released into the Ping River. The aim of the ceremony was to revive the river’s ecology by “restoring aquatic resources to the water”, which included carp, white catfish and lobster. The Chiang Mai Provincial Authority also said they chose to release the fish into the river to show support for the monarchy.

Dead fish in polluted water.

However, the upper Ping River is significantly polluted with high levels of water degradation coinciding with the rapid urban development in Chiang Mai Province. Domestic wastewater sewage as well as waste from commercial establishments, factories, and residential homes have caused havoc on the water quality of the Ping River. Littering and the improper disposal of garbage is also a major cause of pollution in the river.

Fish and other creatures exposed to water pollution suffer from a myriad of diseases and often cannot breed or give birth due to malfunctions caused by pollutants in the water. It is also common for fish to simply die, depending on the severity of the pollution and what toxins are in it. For example, sewage runoff from agricultural operations release toxins that cause death in fish. Plastic waste cause significant suffering and death to fish, who often mistake pieces of plastic for food and ingest them, causing choking or blockage of the throat or digestive system, leading to death.

Fish exposed to pollution often go on to be consumed by humans, who are then too exposed to higher levels of toxins and potentially devastating diseases. Many locals still catch their fish from the Ping River despite the fact that the water is so polluted.