Blue-green algae has caused water pollution in Chaohu Lake, China's fifth largest fresh water lake, in east China's Anhui Province, where the rare whitebait production is on the decline.
The output of the whitebait, a small sprat and famous for its fresh and tender meat, has dropped by 500 tons, or 20 percent lower in this year's fishing season compared with the previous one.
"The delicate whitebait, which requires a high-standard of water quality, is disappearing mainly because of the rampant blue-green algae in the lake," said Chen Jianqun, head of the Bureau of Fisheries of Chaohu City.
From June to August 2007, the nutrient runoffs and other pollutants caused blue-green algaes to bloom in China's Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake and the Dianchi Lake, endangering water supply in nearby cities and posing great threat to the aquatic life in the lakes.
"I have never seen a year like this one when the output of the whitebait is so low," said Liu Yejun, a fisherman whose family has been living on fishing in the Chaohu lake for years.
The stinky algae-rich water has also given rise to the parasite, which further endangered the whitebait, according to Chen.
Experts with the Anhui Agricultural University have warned that the sharp drop of whitebait production is a warning signal of the lake's eco-system.