Montagu Dead Fish Mystery Solved?

Tuesday 24th, January 2012 / 10:53 Published by
Fish washed up on shore

Dead fish at Montagu foreshore

Over the past week, there has been a lot of speculation and concern about the number of dead fish of shallow water varieties found floating in the waters at Montagu Beach. From media reports, inquiries to relative ministries were met with negative results. I would have thought that with such an incident, the Ministry responsible for fisheries would have immediately launched an investigation into the matter, and the Ministry of Health would have issued warnings to members of the public against the consumption of any such fish found. So far no public announcement of an investigation into the matter has been made, nor have warnings about the consumption of those fish been issued.

On Sunday the 15th January I went to Montagu Beach to see if I could locate any of the dead fish; but a search of the shoreline proved futile. I spoke with a number of persons in the area, but with the exception of one person, a Long Islander like myself, were bewildered about the supposed mystery. My Long Island friend asked me if I had heard of any dead fish being found near the shoreline of any other area of the island. I said that I did not. Good, said he, now tell me if you know where those stones that are being used as a barrier out there came from? No I answered. He said, “I know you don’t, for if you did you would know what is killing the fish around this area.”

Those stones are being brought from the waters in front of the Oil Refinery in Freeport. They are porous and are loaded with oil seepage from the refinery. The fish are dying from the toxins from that seepage material in those stones. To me, what he said made sense, if those stones are really from the Refinery area of Freeport. I am of the opinion that if what he said is true, it will be decades before one can hope to see any of the shallow water fish of our shorelines in that area again. Minister Larry Cartwright, this  situation is a concern of your Ministry, will you kindly look into it?

Errington W. I. Watkins
Nassau, The Bahamas
January, 2012

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