Srinagar- The fisheries department of Jammu and Kashmir has submitted a report on sudden death of a large number of fish in Dal Lake to the administration attributing the mass death to thermal stratification.
Experts say that the thermal stratification is a natural occurrence, in any static body of water. It occurs when the surface layer of water, warmed by the sun, becomes less dense than the water underneath it. The surface layer remains on top and the lower layer, deprived of surface contact and insulated from the sun, continues to get colder.
The pictures and videos of floating dead fish went viral on social media sites leaving Dal dwellers and locals worried.
Rafiq Ahmad Sofi, Chief Project officer, told Kashmir Observer that the department had constituted a team to ascertain the facts that led to the death of fish in the Lake.
“We dispatched a team to collect the samples and found that the fish had died around Sher-e- Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) and Nishat,” Sofi said.
Notably, the Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) carried out an intensive dredging of the lake ahead of the G20 meeting which was hosted at SKICC between May 22-24. The delegates were also taken on Shikara rides for three consecutive days.
He further said the fish couldn’t bear the “thermal stroke” of due to the sudden fluctuation in temperature due to incessant rainfall.
Sofi, who was heading the team, said they found that most of the fish were “trash fish” and not “food fish” and the thermal stratification occurred in a small patch of the lake.
“The water around the SKICC and Nishat area is stagnant. No water channel feeds this patch so there is less oxygen for fish and the temperature of the water doesn’t remain maintained in these patches,” Sofi said.
He further said that the thermal stratification happens in summers and winters as well.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Vice Chairman, Lakes & Conservation Management Authority (LCMA) told a news agency that the samples of dead fish have already been taken.
“Not big fish as shown in pictures but fingerlings of two fish species were found dead in Dal Lake”, he said.
Bashir said we have analyzed the phenomenon and it has happened probably due to thermal stratification which led to the death of fingerlings and it is a normal affair.
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