The dead mullets [commonly known as harders] were found washed ashore along the shoreline between the Lagoon Beach river mouth and the Milnerton Lighthouse as early as of Friday.
The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre together with its staff from the Environmental Resource Management; and Water and Sanitation Departments officials, who are responsible for maintaining the shoreline were dispatched to the scene to assess the impact.
The pollution control officers from the Oceans & Coast Branch of the National Department of Environmental Affairs also investigated whether the mortality was caused by any potential oil leak emanating from the Seli 1 shipwreck that is in close proximity in Table View. The investigation revealed that the cause of death could not be associated with the wreck reduction efforts undertaken by the SA Navy.
Dr Joy Leaner, the Director: Pollution Management (Air Quality, Pollution and Chemicals Management) from the Western Cape Government: Department Environmental Affairs and Development Planning also inspected the area.
The City’s Law Enforcement and Specialised Services cordoned off the area and prevented the bathers and the general public from picking up the fish for potential consumption.
At this it is not yet clear what caused the fish mortality, however it is suspected that it is linked to the high temperatures (high 20 and 30 degrees) that were experienced this past week across the Cape Peninsula.
It is suspected that the fish die off can be as a consequence of these conditions resulting in not enough oxygen in the water for the fish outside their realm of tolerance.
Prior to the removal of the dead fish for disposal the City of Cape Town took samples for analyses so that a clear picture can be obtained of what caused the fish mortality.
Today (Sunday) the City’s disaster response teams were assisted by staff from the Solid Waste Management Department removing the dead mullets from the shoreline whereafter it was disposed of at the Vissershok Landfill Site.
The swift response by the authorities averted the incident constitute an environmental threat to the general public and the environment.
Staff of the City’s Solid Waste Management Department removes dead mullets between the Lagoon Beach river mouth and the Milnerton Lighthouse.
The following file is available for download: http://web.capetown.gov.za/Bigfiles/A780957065/Fish%20Die%20Off%20Milnerton.zip.
It will be available until 08h00 on Saturday, 23 March 2013.
Issued by: Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town
Source : Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects and Disaster Operations, Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town