Scores of fish in Baakens die

LATEST VICTIMS: Dead fish in the Baakens River

Zandile Mbabela

NELSON Mandela Bay’s Baakens River fish could be the latest victims of the outbreak on Eastern Cape shores off a toxic red tide earlier this month.

However, residents believe there has been yet another sewage spill. They found themselves in the middle of a big stink as scores of dead fish floated along the river, which flows through some of their gardens and past their homes.

While the municipality said it did not want to speculate and “make unnecessary links”, it was not ruling out the possibility that this was a result of the tide.

Residents were shocked to find dead fish at the foot of their gardens. Clarisse Bishop, of Essexvale, said she noticed a stench and saw fish floating in the river on Wednesday afternoon. “There were just hundreds of fish floating dead on the river and on the water there was an oily substance,” she said.

“It smells awful and this is not the first time this has happened. There are always some safety issues with this river. We always have to watch that kids don’t swim there.”

Her neighbour, Gletwyn Rubidge, said the mucky water appeared to have been coming from one of the municipal sewerage outlets. “We think it may be another sewage leak because they are quite common and happen about three of four times a year.

“It caused quite a stink and must have been too much for the fish because there were dead ones floating for about 100m along the bank,” he said.

Hundreds of dead fish and other marine life have washed up on the city’s shores as a result of the toxic red tide. Municipal spokesman, Mthubanzi Mniki, said they would have to investigate the true cause and that it could be the result of the red tide.

He said tests would be carried out on the river.

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