Dying fish

of dead fish have been found near Turkey's Gulf of Izmit, located south of Istanbul. Scientists have no clue as to why the gulf has been filling up with dead fish. Izmit is one of Turkey's main industrial centres.

Environmental activists allege that an incinerator has been operating on the gulf, despite a court order to shut it down. They say that the ash of the incinerator is responsible for the present situation. An analysis of the incinerator's ash reveals the presence of high levels of heavy metals and chlorinated contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins. However, a Turkish environment ministry investigation indicates that the deaths may be due to natural causes. Government scientists said that they found no unusual content in the gulf's waters. Seasonal currents flowing from the hydrogen sulphide layer of the neighbouring Sea of Marmara were responsible for the mass death. Scientists from the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council, Istanbul, say that strong winds had turned the water-oxygen gradient upside down because of which the fish got suffocated.

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