Fish dying at alarming rate in northern parts of Maldives

A large amount of dead triggerfish in a plastic bag.

An unusual amount of fish are dying in the northern parts of Maldives.

Speaking to Sun regarding this issue, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ibrahim Naeem, said that this issue has been brought to their attention but there have been no steps taken as of yet.

Dr Ibrahim Mohamed, who is well-versed in the environmental academic field, expressed his apprehension regarding this issue in a tweet. He said that this phenomenon is mostly being observed in Sh., N., and R. atolls.

Dr Ibrahim said that as per the information he has been given, the species of fish that are dying most appear to be triggerfish. He even attached a picture of many dead triggerfish in a plastic bag along with the tweet.

He said that this is something to be worried about. He even said that such a phenomenon was observed back in 2007 as well. 

“In the past, it happened around M. and Dh. atoll at first and then it began to happen near Male’ as well as other parts of Maldives,” Dr Ibrahim said expressing his concern that such phenomena might occur again.

He noted that research was conducted on the death of a large number of fish. However, he said that there is a lack of long-term studies. The cause of such problems is unknown due to the lack of long-term studies, he said.

There are many factors that contribute to fish mortality. Naeem noted that a large number of fish are dying due to the work done in the area.

“Sometimes the dredging works cloud the water and disrupt the currents causing the fish to die. Then the heat and some kind of plankton-like things are more than enough to cause the death of fish,” Naeem said.

However, he said that this appears to be a natural phenomenon.

Triggerfish seem to be mostly dying in such cases. The reasons include lack of food sources and or oxygen due to a surge in triggerfish populations.

Such cases of dying fish are occasionally observed in neighbouring India and Sri Lanka as well. In most cases, this happens due to complications caused by high temperatures.