Tons of dead fish found in Lake Ismarida

Scientists left puzzled at sudden deficiency of oxygen in lake

Authorities in rush to remove ten tons of dead fish from Lake Ismarida, home to the an endemic species called the gelartza (Alburnus vistonicus), a ray-finned fish

Lake Ismarida Lake Ismarida Ten tonnes of dead fish have been found in a lake in the north of the country due to an inexplicably absence of oxygen in the water, researchers have said.

The fishy find in Lake Ismarida, in Rodopi prefecture, was reported by the authority that manages the Nestos delta and lakes Vistonida and Ismarida and researchers from the  Democritus University of Thrace.

"The extent of the phenomenon is unique. Despite the fact every year we identify quantities of dead fish in the lake, this year is the first time we've see such a large amount," Manos Koutrakis, chairman of the authority, told semistate news agency ANA.

According to preliminary data from analysis made by the authority, there is a deficiency in oxygen – for an unknown reason - at the mouth of the lake and at its northern end.

"For an unknown reason, the water has no oxygen," Koutrakis said.

"The dead fish are mainly flathead mullet and eels, as well as butterflies. The important thing is not to lose endemic species such as the gelartza (Alburnus vistonicus) [a ray-finned fish], and for this reason we must move quickly to remove all the dead fish, because decomposition will absorb even more oxygen," said Koutrakis.

Lake Ismarida - also known as Mitrikou - lies in the near the delta of the Nestor, where, at the point where the river enters Greece from Bulgaria, scientists recently discovered high levels of the toxic metal cadmium.   

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