Dead fish in Kapaleeswarar temple tank

Drop in oxygen level said to be reason behind shocking incident.

Chennai: Hundreds of dead fish were seen floating in Kapaleeswarar temple tank on Wednesday after a three-day temple festival drew to an end.

Temple goers and vendors gathered around the tank and were surprised to see the dead fish, “I regularly visit this temple but haven’t seen anything like this,” said Meenakshi R, one of the onlookers.

One of the fortune-tellers sitting at the entrance said he had heard about an oil spill in the water during one of the rituals during the festival.

As per tradition a chariot with the Gods inside is made to float on the water. One of the drums of oil attached to the bottom of the chariot may have had a leak.
Along with oil leak there may have been some chemical leak that had led to the deaths, said the fortune teller who has worked at the temple for nearly 30 years.
Temple authorities said there was no oil spill.

“The chariot was moving at a fast pace. That may have reduced the oxygen in the water. It was also unusually hot that day,” said a temple authority.

While oil spills do kill fish in large numbers, R.Rajaram, marine biologist and professor at Bharathdasan University said that oxygen levels do lower during winter season.

“Since there is fog it tends to reduce during the winter season, the fish get very stressed and come up to the surface. They usually end up dying due lack of oxygen” he explained.

The biologist also said when the density of fish increases it could result in less oxygen being available for the fish.

“The tank has to be regularly checked for oxygen levels. If the fish are stressed then it means that the level of diffused oxygen may have dropped to 3. A regular check has to be conducted for the fish to survive,” he said.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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