Fish die-off in Bahrain – 07/05/2007

  • December 7, 2013 at 3:42 am #1716

    Fish die-off in Bahrain – July 2007

    No bacteria or disease, but lack of oxygen. So blame the heat and sewage –MC

    Victims of the summer heat
    Published: 5th July 2007

    THOUSANDS of fish that had washed ashore in Sitra, Sanad and Tubli Bay have died from lack of oxygen, it was revealed yesterday.

    Samples were taken by the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife last week.

    “The tests showed the fish had not died of bacteria or diseases but of lack of oxygen,” said fisheries director Jassim Al Qaseer.

    He said fish deaths were a natural phenomenon in summer due to high temperatures.

    Mr Al Qaseer said some parts in Tubli Bay lacked oxygen because of the lack of water circulation.

    A probe into a large black patch of sewerage discharges from a nearby plant at Tubli Bay was launched last week.

    Residents have been complaining of stench from the pollutants and the bay’s condition, fearing it will cause serious health and environmental problems.

    Officials and environmentalists say Tubli Bay’s condition has been deteriorating due to the lack of water flow following reclamation work on the new Sitra Causeway.

    The Cabinet decided on Sunday to assign a specialised company to assess the bay’s environmental problems.

    A ministerial committee has also been formed to study reports to be submitted by the parliamentary probe committee, the public commission and the Works and Housing Ministry within two weeks.

    “We are now waiting for the clean up to be implemented to safeguard marine life in Tubli Bay as well as by opening water channels and allowing water circulation in the area,” he said.

    “It has been decided to open water channels under the Sitra Causeway to re-circulate water in the area.”

    He said that Tubli Bay needed continued efforts over the next five years for its marine life to flourish.

    “Water channels must also be made for sewerage discharge to prevent the polluted water from entering the bay,” said Mr Al Qaseer.

    “The project to clean and open channels in the Tubli Bay is likely to be implemented in three months by the Works and Housing Ministry and the public commission.”

    A municipal councillor on Tuesday called for a law protecting Tubli Bay from pollution and other environmental hazards to be activated before the area turned into a swamp.

    The area was declared a protected zone under a Royal Decree issued last August, which has been pending for a new coastal line to be drawn up by a government committee, said area councillor Abbas Mahfoodh.
    © Gulf Daily News

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