Vakarai lagoon fish dying

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Huge numbers of fish have died the Vakarai lagoon in the East. The rotting fish are floating on the surface and clogging the banks. Local residents say the entire fish population in the lagoon might have died.

The floating dead fish can be seen from Kayankerni to Kathiraveli, a distance of 18 kms.

The overpowering smell from the decomposing bodies is causing severe hardship for the people living near the lagoon which is located between Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

There is despair, bordering on panic, amongst the 5000 fishing families who are dependent on the lagoon for their livelihood and food.

They have informed the authorities about the disaster.

Whilst there is bewilderment at the scale of the disaster, many believe that intense shelling from the nearby Sri Lankan army bases killed the fish.

The pressure wave from underwater explosions can easily kill fish in the vicinity.

The Sri Lankan army has frequently shelled the Varakai region in the past few years, causing local villagers to flee their homes, according to residents.

The area has been under the control of the LTTE for several years.


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