Wetland woes

ENVIRONMENTALISTS from Japan and other Countries are protesting against a government -funded dike, which has dried out the Isahaya wetlands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. The once-thriving wet-lands have turned into a muddy cesspool containing dead sea organisms. Government officials say that the dike is necessary to reclaim land, control view and prevent flooding in the low-lands around Isahaya Bay on Kyushu ialand. Several US environmental groups have urged the US and Japanese government to rescue the tidal wetlands. The Isahaya wetlands were the largest In Japan and one of the richest in the world once boasting 282 species including seven endemic and endangered ones. But since the seven-km- long dike dosed the flow of seawater as April 14, nearly 1,100 hectares of wetlands have turned into a wasteland filled with the stench of thousands of dead oysters and shellfish.