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22 Feb 2008 10:50
Tonnes of fish, from carp to exotic tropical specimens, have washed up dead along 320km of beach on Taiwan’s outlying islands because of cold temperatures, a local official said on Friday.
About 45 tonnes of fish, some wild and some farmed, appeared on the tourism-dependent Penghu Island archipelago in the Taiwan Strait from February 14 following a cold snap, county environmental staffer Hsu Ching-fang said.
Local media said on Friday that 10 times that amount was still in the water, adding it was the worst mass killing off Penghu in 30 years.
“Every beach in Penghu has been hit with fish in varying amounts,” Hsu said. “This is something we haven’t seen before.”
Temperatures dipped below nine degrees Celsius for three days in early February, unusually low for subtropical Penghu.
That weather came along with snow storms in nearby China.
Government agencies have allocated $34 000 for daily beach clean-ups, Hsu said.
Tourists can still use the beaches, which are normally known for their windswept expanses of white sand and offshore coral.—Reuters
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