ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dead fish in polluted river. Dead fish washed up among rocks at the side of a polluted river. Freshwater pollution can kill fish in a number of ways. Acid rain and some chemical pollutants from industrial effluent kill the fish directly. Pesticides like DDT accumulate in body fat through the food chain, eventually reaching toxic levels in higher animals like fish. Run-off from fertilizers used on farms causes over-growth of microorganisms in the river, which remove oxygen from the water so quickly that the fish suffocate to death.
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