The Department of Environment is investigating a fish kill in Orange Walk Town. Investigators were called out near an area of the New River where residents observed floating dead fish. A team from the Department of Environment was dispatched on Sunday morning to conduct an investigating. Leading the investigation is DEO’s Environment Technician Henry Sanchez who told Love News that the aim was to monitor the quality of the water. The level of temperature, concentration of dissolved oxygen and PH. Sanchez says the team discovered that the temperature of the water was high with low level of oxygen. According to Sanchez, the team headed to an area near Bats Landing and samples were obtained from the water that is being discharged into the New River by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited.
Henry Sanchez, Environment Technician, Department of Environment: “We have responded to several fish kills on the new river and this was the first time on this section of the river. So we went out with our equipment, we have a YSI water quality monitoring system to test the on site parameters of the water. We test for temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH but for this instance the most critical parameters that we wanted to monitor were the temperature and the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water column. We know that as the temperature increases the concentration of oxygen level decreases so with our temperatures that means that there would be less oxygen for the water organisms to consume for their metabolism purposes.”
Reporter: What would you say is causing the change in the environment ?
Henry Sanchez, Environment Technician, Department of Environment: “Well we were doing water quality monitoring to try to determine that and the team went up to an area above Battle Landing which we use as the control and then we continued down stream. We managed to get a sample of the water being discharged from BSI and we did on site parameter testing and we collected a sample to bring to the lab as well so we are still doing the analysis in the lab but we noticed that the temperature on the water that is being discharged is a bit high and the concentration of oxygen is low as well so probably that was the major cause of the fish kill.”
Sanchez says that the matter remains under investigation. DOE is working with BSI to officially determine the cause of the fish kill.