At least 40 tons of dead fish have washed up on the banks of a lake on Lebanon's Litani river in what locals are saying is an environmental disaster blamed on pollution, according to Reuters. The fish engulfed a nearby village in an unbearable pungent odor.
"This phenomenon appeared on the shore of the lake several days ago," said Ahmad Askar, a local activist. "The fish started floating up, and in abnormal quantities... It's unacceptable."
The river authority even added that the fish carried a virus and that fishing all along the Litani should be avoided due to "an aggravated disaster that threatens public health."
Lebanon has had its fair share of struggles recently starting with an explosion that took place on August 4, 2020,in Lebanon's port city of Beirut. The explosion was considered to be one of the most powerful non-nuclear, man-made blasts in human history.
Not the only one
But at least in the case of environmental sea-related disasters, Lebanon is not alone. Last October, Russia's eastern Kamchatka region reported that dozens of dead sea animals washed onto a beach from the Pacific Ocean. Russian investigators stated at the time that they were facing "a possible ecological catastrophe."
And it's not just fish and other sea animals that are suffering the results of environmental pollution. Surfers and swimmers in the region stated they started feeling ill after swimming, with one surfer, Natalia Danilova, reporting she was diagnosed with a chemical burn to her cornea.
Cleanup projects around the world
Before you lose hope it should be noted that there are many worthy efforts out there to clean our polluted seas. The Ocean Cleanup is known for its revolutionary new product that literally gobbles up waste as it goes along.
The organization can be found cleaning both our oceans and rivers. Meanwhile, last July, Ocean Voyages reported that it had removed 103 tons of fishing nets and consumer plastics from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world located between Hawaii and California.
There's also the Manta yacht that will feed on plastic as it floats along, even using some of that plastic to fuel itself. A working prototype should be ready for 2024. In the meantime, Seabin offers artificial intelligence-powered garbage bins that reduce oceanic pollution.
It seems that people are indeed on a mission to save our precious oceans and rivers from the pollution they themselves have caused over the years. Will it be enough to avoid more catastrophes such as the Litani river one? Time will tell.