NANFA-- News: Heatwave Kills 30,000 Eels in Europe's River Rhine

Sajjad Lateef (
Fri, 8 Aug 2003 09:54:38 -0700 (PDT)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Soaring temperatures have claimed the lives of
30,000 eels in Europe's busiest waterway, the river Rhine, authorities
said on Friday.

A spokesman for the Environment Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia said
15,000 of the eels had died in the state, with another 15,000 deaths
recorded in the Dutch section of the 820 mile river.

The ministry said the deaths of the normally robust animals were
largely caused by an increased incidence of a bacterial plague caused
by high water temperatures, which have been more than five degrees
Celsius above average.

Temperatures around the Rhine have been nearing 40 Celsius (104
Fahrenheit), with water temperatures measured at 26.6 degrees.

"However, we assume that the eel deaths have passed their peak, because
hardly any new dead animals were found in the last two days," the
spokesman said.


Sajjad Lateef
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