WHITTLESEY: 500 fish die but quick thinking by agency saves many more
FIVE hundred fish died in Moreton s Leam Watercourse in Whittlesey but many more were saved thanks to quick thinking by officers from the Environment Agency. They were able to respond quickly to the situation following phone calls from an Environment Agen
FIVE hundred fish died in Moreton's Leam Watercourse in Whittlesey but many more were saved thanks to quick thinking by officers from the Environment Agency.
They were able to respond quickly to the situation following phone calls from an Environment Agency lock keeper doing his routine flood work, and from a member of the public.
Environment Management Team Leader, Manfai Tang, from the Environment Agency said: "More than five hundred fish were killed due to lack of oxygen, however more deaths were prevented by our prompt response, which only happened due to a quick report made by a member of the public."
Within half an hour of receiving the call, the Environment Agency Fisheries team was on its way to the site with oxygenating equipment to save the fish.
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Environment Officers were the first on site and immediately carried out investigations to see if pollution was the cause of distress to the fish. After a thorough investigation, the cause was put down to natural causes following low pressure during intense thunderstorms which removed oxygen from the water.
Environment Agency Fisheries Officers used oxygenating equipment to increase the oxygen levels, and follow up checks the next day found the oxygen levels had returned to normal.
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It was estimated more than five hundred fish were killed, with Roach, Pike and Perch being some of the affected species.
Moreton's Leam is located in the Nene Washes, in north Cambridgeshire, and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is a habitat for the Spined Loach fish, although none were seen in the mortalities.
The incident happened in early September but details have only just been released by the Environment Agency.