The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is investigating reports of hundreds of fish found dead and floating in a section of the La Pastora River in Santa Cruz yesterday. CEO of the EMA Joth Singh said the authority was alerted to the situation when fish were found floating in the river, and immediately dispatched officers to investigate. The authority also reported it to the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) but up to late yesterday there was no answer as to what had happened to the fish.
The alert came from the NGO Papa Bois Conservation and one of its directors, Marc de Verteuil. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, de Verteuil said residents told him yesterday morning that "thousands" of fish were dead in the river. "I went to check it out and I spoke to some eyewitnesses, but by the time I got there, there was about 100 fish dead in the river, in a very small area. "It looked like a pretty significant event." La Pastora resident Alex Franco described yesterday's ordeal as a "freak incident."
"Nothing like this has happened here before." Franco, who lives near the river, sets traps to catch fish for food. He said he had set fish traps on Thursday afternoon and caught three fish but when he checked his traps the following morning they were full of dead fish and hundreds more were floating down the river. Franco said as late as 6 pm yesterday EMA staff were still doing tests on the water outside of his home.
Residents of La Pastora use the river for fishing and for irrigation for agricultural land. In recent months there has been a fish kill in Brasso and an incident in which hundreds of dead and dying corbeaux were found in Chaguaramas. No explanation has yet been found for either.