REEF FISH DYING AT BERU ISLAND, KIRIBATI

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TARAWA, Kiribati (June 14, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Different species of reef fish and other marine life are reported to be dying of unknown causes in the lagoon at Taubukinberu village on Beru island. The fish are found dead following neap tides along the southern Kiribati island's shore.

Among the dead marine life are surgeon fish, various species of small red fish, eels, and octopus, Radio Kiribati reports.

Fisheries officer Kamori Ueantabo, stationed on the island, speculates that the deaths may be caused by the high salinity concentration and the high temperature of the sea water during the extreme low tides, resulting in less oxygen for the fish.

The people of Beru, meanwhile, are concerned about the situation, saying it will create a major food problem if it continues.

Kiribati people rely on fish as their main source of protein.

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