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November 25, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Pollution blamed for mystery disease in fish

POLLUTION from a factory in Minhang District is causing a strange disease in fish and withering crops, claim farmers.

Since August, thousands of fish in a pond have shown signs of an unexplained ailment that leaves them covered in red spots and bleeding. Many have died of the condition.

Meanwhile, the leaves of crops planted near the pond have turned dark gray and become covered in black dust.

Farmers from Dongfeng Village, Pujiang Town in Minhang, claim a factory located meters away from the pond is to blame, as it has released copper ore powder into the water for months.

According to villagers, the factory, Dongfeng Metal Pipe Co, discharges black copper powder from a pipe 30 centimeters above the pond.

Copper ore pollution is directly responsible for the fish disease and withered crops, say farmers.

Although villagers have reported Dongfeng Metal Pipe Co to local environment officials repeatedly, the factory is still discharging waste into the pond.

An official with Minhang Environmental Protection Bureau told Shanghai Daily yesterday that they were still looking into the case.

But according to the Xinmin Evening News, the Minhang Environment Supervision Team had already inspected the factory on November 11 after receiving villagers' complaints, and confirmed that it was illegally discharging pollutants.

The supervision team officials told the newspaper that they had ordered the factory to change its discharge process and achieve "zero-emission of copper powder" in 30 days.

An official with Dongfeng Metal Pipe Co, surnamed Qu, told the newspaper that the factory would improve emission methods, but claimed the powder was not toxic.

The fish disease has caused great economic loss to the villagers. One man, surnamed Wu, said the 5,000-plus fish he raised in the pond had caught the mystery disease and couldn't be sold. His losses might reach tens of thousands yuan.

"During the summer, conditions were most serious. Many fish were bleeding," said Wu.


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