A senior official in the Ahwaz region has warned that severe industrial pollution and increasing salinity in the Karoon river is driving the Hilsa fish, known to Ahwazis as Soboor, to extinction.
Abdul Rahim Mghynmy, the Director General of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Khuzestan province (Historically known as Arabistan or Al-Ahwaz till 1936), warned that the Iranian regime’s construction of dams upstream to divert waters from the Karoon river which is the natural habitat of the Soboor, along with the heavy pollution from unchecked discharge of toxic industrial waste from factories in the region, will result in the extinction of the fish, enjoyed as a staple of Ahwazis’ diet for millennia, unless action is taken to reverse these measures.
The Saboor fish, traditionally caught in the downstream areas of the Karoon river, are migratory in nature, growing in the saltwater Arabian Gulf before swimming upstream to freshwater areas around Abadan and the Shat al-Arab waterway on the border between Iraq and Iran.
The prices of Soboor in local markets have risen massively over the past six years as supplies have decreased, with the fish unable to swim upstream to lay their eggs due to the pollution and increasingly heavy salinity of the river.
Iran embarked on a systematic destruction of Ahwaz region’s environment; the attendant results were catastrophic both from an economic and ecological standpoint. The fishing industry in Ahwaz was deleteriously affected by such policies.