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More fish to return to Suzhou Creek after dredging

THE Suzhou Creek is expected to become cleaner for more aquatic creatures to return when a silt dredging operation is completed this month, officials said today.

Zhu Shiqing, deputy director of Shanghai Water Authority, said the one-year project has removed more than 1.3 million cubic meters of murky and smelly mud from the riverbed to restore the creek's ecosystem.

The bureau said their goal is to turn the heavily polluted creek to Shanghai's Rhine River.

"So far we have completed all the dredging operations and we are moving to the next stage of rebuilding the river's ecosystem," Zhu told Shanghai Daily. "There are some small fish and shrimps in the river and hopefully more species will appear."

As pollution was reduced and water quality began to improve, fish and some organisms returned in 2001, but the bureau hopes more aquatic species will thrive in the river.

"There are some big fish now, but they were mostly released by local residents. We hope the river can breed some big fish," Zhu added.

The dredging project also increased the river depth by an average of one meter in a 16-kilometer downtown stretch.

The dredging team even found 121 bombs in the mud. They date back to China's war against Japanese invaders from 1937-1945, officials said.


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