National agenda proposed to stop mass deaths of freshwater stingrays in Mae Klong river

The mass death of freshwater stingrays in Mae Klong river is now causing concern among animal conservationists with a proposal being discussed to raise this as a national agenda to put an end to water pollution by industries locating along the river.

So far 38 stingrays were found dead and some of their carcasses collected for autopsy to look into the exact cause of death.

But aquatic animal expert believed as high as 100 stingrays could have been dead from the water contamination as not all carcasses of the dead stingrays would float on water surface.

Some of the sick stingrays were rescued from the river and sent to a centre for rehabilitation. Their conditions are improving satisfactorily.

Director of the Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animal Aquatic Research Center (VMAARC) � Chulalongkorn University Dr Nantrika Chansue said laboratory test in three dead stingrays showed they died from toxic shock syndrome, possibly from water contamination.

The toxic contamination in water destroyed the heart, kidney and nerve systems, causing acute shock and death, she said.

She said where this toxic contamination came from is what the Department of Pollution Control and the Department of Fisheries must find out.

She said the issue now needs all relevant agencies to integrate all efforts to resolve as now she believed over 100 Stingrays could have been dead from the toxic contamination in water.

She said as the Mae Klong river flows pass several provinces, and the toxic contamination has resulted in mass death of sensitive fish as Stingrays, therefore this problem should be raised as a national agenda to discuss and resolve the problem.

She also said that fishes in cage farming have stronger health.

But they could also die if they are raised in cages which they could not scape from the polluted water, she said and added that she would inspect fush cage farming along the river to find the cause.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)