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  Channel NewsAsia 29 May 07
Cause of death of fish in Serangoon River undetermined

Straits Times 18 May 07
Mystery over dead fish in river
Thousands of dead tilapia were found in a stretch of Sungei Serangoon on Wednesday
By Michelle Neo

Channel NewsAsia 16 May 07
Dead fish found floating in Serangoon River and canal

SINGAPORE: Thousands of dead fish were found floating in the Serangoon River and Punggol Park Canal on Wednesday.

The National Environment Agency was contacted and it is now investigating the case. It has also referred the matter to the Public Utilities Board.

To notify Channel NewsAsia on interesting occurrences, members of the public could call 68 2222 68 or send pictures and videos to yournews@channelnewsasia.com. - CNA/so

Channel NewsAsia 17 May 07
Water in Sungei Serangoon canal not toxic: NEA

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) has carried out tests on water samples from Sungei Serangoon canal where thousands of dead fish were found on Wednesday.

The results show the water did not contain any toxic contaminants.

In a joint statement with the PUB, the NEA says it is still carrying out tests to find out why the fish died. It sent its officers to collect water samples from the canal on Wednesday, and is now working with PUB on the investigations.

The PUB says it cleared the dead fish from the canal on Wednesday.

As a precautionary measure, the public has been advised not to fish in the area or consume any fish caught.

The NEA says it will continue to monitor the water quality and inform the public when the situation is back to normal. - CNA/yy

Straits Times 18 May 07
Mystery over dead fish in river
Thousands of dead tilapia were found in a stretch of Sungei Serangoon on Wednesday
By Michelle Neo

THOUSANDS of dead fish - mostly the common tilapia - on Wednesday littered a 2 to 3km stretch of the 6-km Sungei Serangoon near Hougang Avenue 7. Tampines and Hougang Avenue 7 are at the upstream end of the river whose mouth is located near Pasir Ris and spills into Serangoon Harbour.

The tilapia - also known as re ben yu (Japan fish) - is edible and served in restaurants here.

Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily reported yesterday that residents living near Hougang Avenue 7 noticed an unusually large number of tilapia swimming in the river at around 7 or 8am, when there was a high tide.

As the tide receded in the evening, thousands of dead fish surfaced. Many were already dead but others were gasping for air. Not many of the other species of freshwater fish appeared to have been affected, say the residents.

Investigations by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Public Utilities Board (PUB) did not indicate any toxic contaminants in the water. However, tests are still underway to find out why the fish were found dead or dying.

The tilapia is in fact a hardy breed, able to survive in both fresh and stagnant water.

Dr Tan Heok Hui, 35 , a research officer and instructor at the National University of Singapore's department of biological sciences, said there could be several causes of the incident.

A change in acidity levels in the canal, due to dredging work to construct a reservoir from the river, may have oxidised chemicals present in the mud, drastically increasing the acidity levels.

With frequent showers of rain, these waters may have spread to other parts of the river.

Plans have been drawn up to dam Sungei Serangoon to create a reservoir by 2009. The tilapia, although common here, is a non-native fish, having originated from Africa. Thus, it may not be able to withstand changes in the acidity levels as well as other native fish, said Dr Tan.

He added that any change in the acidity level is likely to be temporary.

Another possibility is the presence of toxic substances farther downstream which may have gone undetected if samples were taken only from the affected areas, located farther upstream.

But Dr Tan was quick to caution that it is too soon to come to any conclusions at this point. More tests will need to be conducted, he said.

The PUB has removed all the dead fish. It advises the public not to fish in the area or eat any fish caught there as a precautionary measure.

According to the PUB, Sungei Serangoon is not linked to any water sources that are tapped for use by people. mneo@sph.com.sg

Channel NewsAsia 29 May 07
Cause of death of fish in Serangoon River undetermined

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) are unable to determine the cause of death of the fish that were found in Serangoon River earlier this month.

On 16 May, a large number of dead fish mainly tilapia were found floating in the river.

Tests by the NEA found no toxic substances in the water. The two agencies said the cause of death could be a lack of oxygen in that section of the river.

The reason for this occurrence will have to be carefully investigated. Current tests confirm that the water quality in the river has returned to normal.

links
Environmental report on disposal of dredged material at Semakau: The Public Utilities Board plans to dredge sediment material from Sungei Punggol and Sungei Serangoon. EIA available for public viewing, more on the habitatnews blog

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