Rio Cobre restocked with thousands of tilapia fingerlings

Four thousand tilapia fingerlings were released into the Rio Cobre in St. Catherine this morning, as part of efforts to restock the river, following a fish kill last year.


The fish release, undertaken by UC Rusal Alumina Jamaica Limited / Windalco, took place at the flat bridge, and the process was overseen by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the National Fisheries Authority.


The company had committed to re-populating the Rio Cobre, after a massive fish kill, due to a spill from its effluent holding pond, in July, last year.


Senior manager of the environmental management sub-division at NEPA Richard Nelson explains that enforcement action was taken and one recommendation was for the Rio Cobre to be restocked with fish.


He said fish will be released at two other locations, later on.



He said the fisheries authority was on hand to ensure the conditions were right to introduce the fingerlings to the area.



Windalco said the re-stocking of the Rio Cobre will be done in four phases, under the guidance of the National Fisheries Authority, and an independent environmental consultant.


And, residents of communities in the vicinity of the Rio Cobre in St. Catherine have welcomed the re-stocking of the river with fish.


Four thousand tilapia fingerlings were released into the Rio Cobre this morning by UC Rusal / Windalco.


Janice, who lives in Kent Village, noted that residents’ lives were affected by the frequent fish kills, as many persons depend on fishing.


She said the re-stocking is a good move.



Resident of Bog Walk, Mr. Williams expressed concern about the survival of the fingerlings.



But, Principal Director of the fisheries compliance, licensing and statistics division at the national fisheries authority, Zahra Oliphant said the fish will adapt to the new environment.





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