Dubai: Residents of the Arabian Ranches and developer Emaar have blamed each other for thousands of dead fish that washed ashore a lake inside the upscale community last week.
"After a sudden dip in the water level, fish by the thousands appeared dead on the shoreline," said Chris, a resident of the Al Reem community where the lake is located. "I suspect the lake was poisoned to control fish stocks," he alleged, adding, "There has to be a more responsible way to manage marine life."
Another resident said, "My parents first noticed the dead fish. We also saw soap-like bubbles in the lake. And the stink in the neighbourhood was unbearable."
She said when she lodged a complaint with Emaar, a team came to the area and scooped out the dead fish into black bags.
"But the stench persisted and more fish surfaced the next day. We have no clue what is going on. We fear the deaths were due to chemical dumping," she said.
An Emaar spokesperson told XPRESS, "Emaar's environmental management team undertook prompt studies on the water quality and other parameters after spotting some dead fish. The team also immediately removed the dead fish.
"The oxygen concentration and salinity of the water were evaluated at various points in the lake and were found to be in the normal range. However, the lake had the presence of foam, especially in the section where the dead fish were found, which was identified to possibly have been caused by detergents or car cleaning fluids," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Emaar Community Management is sending reminders to residents to refrain from car washing in community areas and avoid disposing chemicals through the storm water drainage, parts of which are connected to the lake.
"The operational hours of the aeration system of the lakes have also been increased and the fish stock will be re-evaluated and restocked in the coming weeks. The community lakes are stocked with fish as an ecologically-friendly pest control method to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes," added the spokesperson.