Massive Fish Deaths Due to Contamination

Massive Fish Deaths Due to ContaminationMassive Fish Deaths Due to Contamination

Over 10,000 fish and other aquatic creatures have died due to environmental hazards in West Azerbaijan Province, director general of the provincial Department of Environment (DoE) said.

Hossein Abbas-Nejad further said “following the contamination of waters in the Zarrinerud River, the living conditions for marine life have deteriorated, killing thousands of fish,” ISNA reported.

The dead fish were removed with the help of local communities and environmental activists and groups.

After receiving several reports on the death of fish in Zarrinerud, experts and environment rangers were sent to the region to study a 5-kilometer route along the river and report the case after careful assessment, he pointed out.

Samples of the river water and also wastewater from the sugar factory located along the river have been taken for testing and to ascertain the cause of the contamination.

“Those responsible for this major environmental hazard will be dealt with as soon as the results of the investigations are announced,” he said.

Considering the sizable decrease in rainfall and the subsequent decrease in discharge of the river, Abbas-Nejad urged the people to make “joint efforts to conserve and safeguard it by preventing effluents and wastes from entering the river.”

 Shift Factory

According to the provincial DoE, the sugar factory of Miandoab, on the river bank, is situated in a residential area, and despite monthly monitoring, it is a threat to the environment.

One of the solutions to decontaminate Zarrinerud is to relocate the factory to another area or city, Abbas-Nejad stressed.

The river, which flows through Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan Provinces, is 302 km long. It originates in the mountains of ‘Chehel Cheshmeh’ (40 fountains) of Kurdistan Province south of Saqqez, where it is also known as the ‘Jaqtoo’ (Jaqatu) River.

The Zarrinerud flows northward and is dammed at Sadd-e Kurosh-e Kabir (Cyrus the Great Dam) at the border with West Azarbaijan, producing a huge reservoir. The river meanders slightly to the west past the cities of Shahin Dezh, Kashavar and Miandoab before flowing into Lake Urumia.