Eelpocalypse: Tens of thousands of dead eels wash up on Guangdong beaches, nobody knows why...
Chinese oil company is suspect #1China's environmental problems are well known. The air is foul, the food is sometimes contaminated, as is the water (even by thousands of dead pigs), there is massive overfishing offshore, even mountains aren't safe!. All of this is now the #1 cause of social unrest in the country.
Now it's eels' turn, it seems. According to a report by Sina.com (translated by Google), residents report that tens of thousands of dead eels have washed up on the shores of Guangdong.
The main suspect so far is a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), which is in the process of doubling its crude refinery production to 24 million barrels a day, reports South China Morning Post. [...]
The eels may have died of natural causes. Either way, the government’s opacity has bred knee-jerk distrust among the Chinese public. One Weibo user voiced outrage that the local government’s Environmental Protection Bureau had “maintained silence.” [...] The public has reason to be suspicious; government coverups of hazardous incidents aren’t uncommon. Guangzhou local officials were recently busted for failing to alert the public that huge quantities of the cities rice was infused with toxic metals. (source)
While right now we can only speculate about what killed the eels - and we might never find out, as China isn't very transparent about these kinds of things - it's still a good reminder that China has to change course on environmental issues.