Drought blamed for ‘fish kill’

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The chief environment officer in the Ministry of Health and Environment has attributed the death of thousands of fish in the McKinnon’s Pond and connected waterways to current drought conditions.
According to Diann Black-Layne, the initial assessment of why large numbers of fish have died within the past few days is that the water has become anoxic, meaning that there is shortage of dissolved oxygen in the water. 
The Black-Layne explained that the population of fish in the pond is high and that “there can only be x amount of fish with the amount of oxygen in the water.”
“The water at the edges is normally one foot [deep] and now it’s about one inch,” she said. “Pollution in the pond would also cause bacteria to grow and further decrease the amount of oxygen.”
According to the chief environment officer, this decrease in the water has led to the deaths of the large number of fish. She pointed out that “the fish kill” is a normal occurrence around dry months such as in the summer.
Black-Layne said that the water has been tested and the results will be available soon. Those results, she said, would help to determine if any other factors contributed to the demise of the fish.
However, with regards to removing the dead fish, she said: “Normally we would mobilise and see if
we can get some of the stuff cleaned out of the pond,
but recently we have received word that the lands around the pond … have been sold.
 “The department of environment was doing some work around the pond and someone came up and say it is private property,” she said. “So, it’s now up to the owners of the property to clean it out. Once we find out who the owners are we will issue them a notice to clean it.”
Black-Layne further added that the huge depletion of water in the pond is an indicator that this summer will be very hot.
Residents in the area have been complaining about the stench and flies in the area as a result of the fish kill.

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