NFA says restocking of Rio Cobre completed following fish kill
The National Fisheries Authority has indicated that the restocking of fish in the Rio Cobre in St Catherine has been successfully completed.
The restocking exercise was conducted by UC Rusal / Windalco in the Rio Cobre watershed area, as part of remedial measures, following a fish kill due to effluent release from its holding pond.
A statement from the fisheries ministry said Windalco was first issued a special permit in may to restock the Rio Cobre with tilapia seed stock or fry and fingerling at multiple locations, within the watershed.
The initial restocking, of 8,000 tilapia seed stock at Flat Bridge and Rio Pedro, was carried out in June.
The variety of tilapia introduced is ‘Black Perch’, ‘Red Tilapia’ and ‘Rocky Mountain’.
Following that activity, an environmental assessment and additional surveillance, identified additional sites within the watershed where additional seed stock could be introduced.
An additional permit was granted which covered the period October to November to facilitate successful completion of the restocking activity.
In October, 2,000 fingerlings were released at the Vanity Fair Bridge and 1,000 were released at the location in Cove, within proximity of the Cove Inn apartments in Linstead.
Then an additional 10,000 fry were released in the vicinity of the Dinthill Technical High School, at Kent Village, and at Dam Head.
The total amount of seed stock released over the duration of both permits is 20,000.
The ministry said in satisfying the conditions of the permit, Windalco is now required to submit a final environmental assessment report.
The fisheries authority said a fish habitat protection order was issued to Windalco, pursuant to the Fisheries Act with respect to the fish habitat contained within the Rio Cobre watershed.
The order was effected on October 1 and will remain in effect until such time that the authority is satisfied that there is no further threat to the fish habitat, by the work of Windalco.
The order outlines the requirement for Windalco, to take all necessary steps to prevent any future release of deleterious substances into the watershed; to notify the authority within 24 hours if there is any release; to remedy any pollution situation without undue delay; to restore the fish habitat to a satisfactory condition in the event of an incident; as well as to submit reports as required by the authority.