NAKHON PHANOM: The current cold spell in upper Thailand has killed at least 10 tonnes of fish being raised in baskets in Tha Uthen distict.
The cold weather moved in before the New Year, with temperatures of 10-12°C overnight.
Farmers raising fish in the Songkhram stream, a Mekong river tributary, are mostly from Hat Kuan village in tambon Chaiburi of Tha Uthen district.
They said large numbers of fish, mostly Nile tilapia or pla nil, had died in the last few days. They estimated their losses at 10 tonnes or more. The fish were four to five months old and weighed 1-1.2 kilogrammes each, and were almost ready for market. They valued the total loss at 500,000 baht.
The dead fish had to be buried. Fishery officials had warned them the fish were not safe to eat.
Piya Atkachorn, chief of the fishery office of Tha Uthen, said the fish died from a combination of the cold and low oxygen content of the water of Songkhram stream.
His office was looking into ways of mitigating the damage to the fish farmers, he said.