UK Environment Agency initiative revealed this week By the magazine new world, is a reminder that a river, like any marine sector, can become a “dead zone”, due to a lack of oxygen: this deficit can be the result of the massive growth of algae, which monopolize oxygen, to the detriment of other marine life – fish and aquatic plants. The algae explosion itself may be caused by spills of organic waste or agricultural fertilizers, or by high temperatures.
According to documents obtained by the magazine under the Access to Information Act, the government agency has implemented an average of 20 of these “interventions” each year since 2018. These actually consist of “pumping” oxygen, either through mechanical ventilation — which increases the oxygen level in an area Certain by agitating the surface or by liquid hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In August 2022, Such interference in the Thameswhich crosses London, extended over 11 days.
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This is literally the equivalent of putting fish on life support, says marine biologist Gary Caldwell, of Newcastle University. It is a final measure that could be replicated in more rivers and lakes.
A provincial government in Australia It was unveiled in 2019 Having done the same in the face of mass fish death in the context of a heat wave. On a less formal basis, researchers in the United States of America And in Canada Testing something, in order to evaluate its effect. In fact, if this initiative is unusual, it is because no one can be sure whether it will succeed, or for how long, at least as long as the release of pollutants continues and the temperature continues to rise.