Authorities begin inspecting mass fish deaths in Turkey’s Aydın
The situation only drew attention after thousands of fish washed up on the river’s mouth reaching the Balat neighborhood in Aydın, the agency’s report read.
The heart-wrenching photos were taken and shared on social media, gaining widespread attention.
While thousands of fish lay dead along three kilometers of the canal in the Greater Menderes Delta National Park, samples were taken by authorities from the water and the fish to discover what may have caused the environmental tragedy.
“These mass fish deaths happen each year. We think this is because of the agricultural chemicals as the area is used for farming,” said Fuat Fikret Ateş, local director of the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.
“We are working on this,” Ateş added.
The perished fish have covered the surface of the water where the river meets the Aegean Sea due to the mass deaths happening over the past two days, the agency reported.
The delta, known for its rich biodiversity, houses some 256 bird species.
Dalmatian pelicans that are endangered globally were seen eating the perished fish in the national park, the report said.
The Greater Menderes River, whose source is in the Central Anatolian province of Afyonkarahisar, makes it way to Aydın after passing through the western Denizli province.
In 2016, some 1.5 million trout belonging to a company were allegedly killed due to the waste from juice factories along the Menderes River in Denizli, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.