Released fish threatens ecosystem in Daming Lake

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Citizens release fish into Daming Lake in Jinan City, east China's Shandong Province. [File photo]

The ecosystem is damaged by released fish in Daming Lake, one of Jinan's main natural and cultural landmarks in east China's Shandong Province, head of the Daminghu Park Yang Junguo said on Wednesday.

The park has to clear out 50 to 100 kilograms of dead fish from the Daming Lake every day. Most of them belong to those species released by local residents, Yang said.

The life release act, or "fangsheng", is a traditional Buddhist practice of saving animals from captivity and release them into the wild. People often perform life release to pray for good luck, especially on every first and 15th day of the lunar month.

However, according to a park official Su Jian, up to 70 percent of the released fish would die in the Daming Lake as they are not adapted to the lake environment, and the park has to clear out as many as 1500 kilograms of dead fish from the lake every month. What's worse, some of the released fish are destroying the lake’s ecosystem as the landscape plants are eaten, and the original species threatened.

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