Digital Desk : Thousands of dead fish have been found on the banks of a lake in a protected nature reserve in northern Greece after high temperatures and drought conditions caused a severe drop in water levels.
State environmental officials said Thursday that the water level at Lake Koroneia has dropped by more than 70 percent percent in the past three years, to 80 centimeters (31 inches), with the decline triggering the death of carp, sunfish, bleak and other freshwater fish.
A long period of drought and high temperatures left the fish high and dry, Dimitra Bobori, responsible for lakes in the Macedonia region, told AFP.
The lake, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the city of Thessaloniki, has experienced the phenomenon repeatedly over the last few decades.
Koroneia’s depth has plummeted from nine feet (2.8 metres) in 2014 to between 60 and 80 centimetres today, Bobori said, adding that engineering works had failed to reverse the trend.
The lake, known as a rich habitat and a key migratory bird lane, is a member of the European environmental protection network Natura.
After several warnings calling on Greece to better protect the lake, the European Commission brought the matter to the European Court of Justice in 2011.
Ecologists and the Greek birdwatchers association blame the pollution on industries and agricultural businesses that flout environmental standards.
— Costas Kantouris (@CostasKantouris) September 19, 2019
Since 1995, thousands of dead fish have surfaced on the shores of Lake Koroneia at least four times.
Bird life has also been seriously affected.
In 2007, 200 birds were found dead on the shores of the lake after a bacterium outbreak.
But the biggest disaster occurred in 2004 when 4,500 birds died after the appearance of the toxin Clostridium botulinum, which develops in stagnant or polluted water, causing the disease botulism
(With inputs from NY Times and NDTV)