Fish found dead in Essequibo conservancy died from lack of oxygen – Minister Holder
The hundreds of dead fish that were on Saturday discovered floating in the conservancy canal that runs between the Richmond Housing Scheme and the La Belle Alliance Housing Scheme in Region Two(Pomeroon/Supenaam) are said to have died from lack of oxygen.
This explanation was proffered by Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, who told Guyana Times on Monday that more enquiries are being done to verify the conditions that led to this magnitude of fish dying.
“But as it is, the water where they lived is relatively low, resulting in limited oxygen for their survival. That, coupled with the fact that the vegetation in the area — the shrubs and weeds in the water where the fish were — needs oxygen too to survive. So, due to the vegetation not being removed, (less) oxygen was available for the fishes,” Minister Holder explained.
He explained that although the issue is a Regional one, the Agriculture Ministry is still playing a role in helping to avoid a recurrence of such a situation.
Guyana Times was told that, through the Agriculture Ministry’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), more water is expected to become available in that conservancy and in nearby canals.
“I have the NDIA currently focusing on pumping additional water into the canals of Region Two, which are being affected by the dry weather and lack of rainfall presently. The one hymac that we have in that particular area is presently under repair, but we are working to remove the vegetation,” the minister told Guyana Times.
Minister Holder further stated that once the overgrown shrubs and weeds are cleared, at least one source of threat to the fish’s supply of oxygen would be eliminated.
Over the weekend, residents in the areas contiguous to this canal have complained that the stench emanating from the dead fish was both unhealthy and unbearable.
When the dead fish were discovered, an investigation was immediately launched, and preliminary findings are that the fish could not obtain enough oxygen to susrvive.
According to several residents, the water is stagnant, and they are unable to use the water (as had previously obtained) for household chores and other activities.
In fact, the area where the fish are floating is polluted with boxes and tins, as well as other items that appear to have been dumped by persons in the water.