Investigations Into Fish Kill Continues
At the beginning of the month residents on the New River Bank and those who depend on the river for a living reported dead fishes floating on the water.
Subsequent to that report, LOVE NEWS visited the river and confirmed the reports. By mid month the Department of the Environment had a team taking samples of the river water for testing.
The fish kill concentrated in the area of the Toll Bridge in Tower Hill but it extended up to seven miles upriver to the area of Shipyard. From the time a press release was issued by the department not much has been known about the findings of the river water quality.
Today we caught up with Chief Environmental Officer Martin Algeria who gave us an update.
" This Saturday they did one, the previous Saturday they did another assessment and they are compiling both reports and results of the labs that just are coming in, to analyze and see what it is that is causing it and where specifically it is concentrated. I don’t want to jump into any conclusion and tell you it is a, b or c but it's something that has been reoccurring for the past fifteen years since the department has been operating. These fish kills come in that particular part of the river every time the rains come down or every time you have some type of draught like excessive heat we have that type of reaction from the river. Usually because of so many years or decades of use of the river without environmental consciousness that they’re has been pollution to the extent that at the bottom at the river, let’s say there is the silt, the mud; every time you stir it up it raises that rich nutrient bottom that causes algae to grow and then die and that absorbs oxygen from the water column causing the fish kills because it is oxygen being depleted due to algae rotting away."
"How would you guys explain that there was also a spider monkey dead in the water and also a crocodile and they don’t really need the air from the water to breath?"
"Those are things that I am telling you that we are trying to coordinate with the forest department and other agencies that have been part of and will continue to be to come with the conclusion on what happened. Like I mentioned, fifty years ago when we had the industries that exist that were operating, environmental consciousness just came in the nineteen seventies or eighties, so what is down there we have to work and manage properly so that we avoid these reoccurrences; it’s not a blame game. You mentioned working relationship between us and most of the big companies in the country, we have a very good harmonious working relationship; even the medium sized companies and we are strengthening it as the days goes by because of the environmental consciousness, the corporate responsibility towards it and the department and the ministry and government as whole are tightening on environmental issues as we go along."