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Fish to help clear another Chinese lake from algae pollution
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13:16, February 28, 2008

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The Taihu Fishery Administration has put 100 million whitebait germ cells into east China's Taihu Lake, the country's third largest freshwater body which suffered algae outbreak last year, as one of the measures to clear the lake of algae pollution.

The move earlier this week came after the neighboring Anhui Province put 1.6 million fish into the fifth largest body of freshwater, or Chaohu Lake, that also faces a threat from algae.

The germ cells come from northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, so as to prevent inbreeding, an administration spokesman said.

The school of fish is expected to curb the blue algae pollution as they mainly feed on plankton, including algae and protozoans.

Blue-green algae, which exists widely in water bodies and is not harmful itself, grows easily in polluted water with a high concentration of nitrogen and phosphorous and a temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius.

An excess of blue-green algae removes oxygen from the water, killing fish and other aquatic life, which then decay and release toxin.

The output of whitebait, a small sprat famous for its fresh and tender meat, in Taihu stood at 400 tons in recent years, compared with the record of 2,000 tons.

From June to August last year, the nutrient run-offs caused blue-green algaes to bloom in Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi lakes, endangered water supply in nearby cities and posed a great threat to aquatic life.

The algae outbreak in certain areas of Taihu provided an alert at the end of May as it rendered tap water undrinkable for about 10 days for more than one million residents in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.

The Chinese government has set a timetable for control of the country's pollution-plagued lakes, aiming to restore them to theiroriginal state by 2030.

Source: Xinhua

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