By Nikieta Liburd
(Basseterre, St. Kitts) – Fish kill numbers have declined since the initial reports 10 days ago, but officials are still looking for the cause of aquatic disaster.
“Not much dead fish reported this week,” said Mr. Kishmo Clarke, Fisheries Assistant / Data Supervisor of the Department of Fisheries St. Kitts. “We are still asking the fishermen or anybody who comes across these dead fish to please bring in a sample at the Department of Fisheries so we can have them examined.”
“At this time we are doing test on some samples that we have, we are comparing other fish, those that appears to be fine to the dead ones,” Mr. Clarke said. “Maybe in that way we will be able to determine as to what is going on.”
“We haven’t had as much reports this week as what we had last week and no estimate of the dead fish has been made as yet,” Mr. Clarke said. “We are urging the public not to consume any of those fish.”
At press time, the Department of Fisheries St. Kitts was unable to say caused the fish kill.
Last week, a large number of dead fish were turning up in the waters around St. Kitts. Authorities have been testing the fish to try to determine the cause of the fish kill and officials are warning the public not to consume any of the fish that have been found dead.
Fishermen are being asked to bring any of the fish carcasses to they find to either the fisheries department or to the Basseterre Fisheries Complex to be used for testing.
Amongst the variety of the species found include the red fish and snapper.
According to the Fish Kill Investigation Manual prepared by the government of Australia, some of the causes are:
•Low oxygen levels in the water, which can be caused by discharges of organic matter (i.e. sewage), mud stirred up from the bottom, rapid turnover of a stratified water body or decaying plant life;
•An excess of acid in the water which can occur naturally or be caused by soil runoff;
•Excessive plant growth;
•A drastic change in water temperature;
•Diseases or parasites.