Went for a bike ride this morning along the Keelung River and, as always, rode past the vile, nasty smelling water that no sane person would jump into and marveled at all the fish jumping (saw at least a couple dozen splashes), black masses of fish congregated by a drainpipe (many dozens of large fish there, possibly over a hundred), birds dive-bombing for fish, egrets, herons and bitterns wading in the river looking for prey, a giant turtle sunning on a rock, etc.
It seems strange. I’m sure I saw many more creatures than I would’ve seen if I’d ridden past a pristine river in the mountains back home. Maybe less diversity (maybe), but certainly more creatures here. But there can be no question the water is truly nasty and polluted. What gives?
I assume most of the pollution, whether it’s fecal matter or other nasty stuff, acts as a form of fertilizer that causes massive blooms of algae and other plants, which serve as home for scores of tiny organisms, that serve as food for small fish, then bigger fish, then birds, turtles, etc., and in the hot tropical sun the hyper-fertilized algae grows at a fast pace.
So I wonder – are there more living organisms in a polluted river than a clean one? So what harm is caused by the pollution, other than the nasty smell and the fact that one wouldn’t want to eat the fish? Other than that, the river seems to be thriving. How is it worse off than a clean, beautiful river.
Serious replies appreciated.