Karachi, Apr.7 : Karachi Port Trust (KPT) officials are battling against time to rid the habour of about 20 tonnes of dead fish of different sizes. According to KPT officials, the operation to clear the port of the dead fish will continue on Monday. They said the dead fish appeared mysteriously in the backwaters of the harbour, near Baba Island and Bhitt Island, late Saturday night. Panic has spread among fishermen, but KPT officials described it as the annual Red Tide phenomenon. "This is the work of the Red Tide, locally known as 'Mara Pani (The killer water).' It is a normal phenomenon and happens several times a year. There is no need to panic," said the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Marine Pollution Control Manager, Muhammad Zahiya Usmani.
"The dead fish started appearing on Saturday afternoon but by Sunday evening, the number of fish has increased alarmingly," the Daily Times quoted Councilor Abdul Ghani, as saying. He said dead fish and turtles had been spotted in the area.
The size of the dead fish varies between four inches to one-and-a-half feet and they are floating on the water besides the mangroves.
Fishermen told the Daily Times that the Lyari river carries toxic industrial waste which meets the sea near Machhar colony and, often, this waste is so harmful that it causes a catastrophe of this magnitude.
The KPT authorities said that nine boats have collected 20 tonnes of dead fish of different sizes so far.