Fish killed by Polluted water




POLLUTED rainwater dumped into the sea was responsible for the death of fish found washed up on Bahrain’s shores last week, an investigation has found.

The incident caused panic among residents in Sitra and a probe was launched by the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE).

SCE chief executive Dr Adel Al Zayani said pollution was behind the deaths, which were restricted to a specific area.

He was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the 32nd meeting of the GCC under-secretaries in charge of environmental affairs at the Sheraton Hotel.

“Usually dead turtles and marine life we find are not linked to pollution,” he said.

“They are linked to fishing, either by boat or by net.

“However, one of the reasons for fish mortality was the rainwater.

“We investigated and we found that the surface water runoff, the water that comes into the sea from the land after the rain, contained high levels of chlorine.

“We contacted the Works Ministry to follow up on where the chlorine had come from.

“It is very difficult because there are so many access points from all over the place.

“But that chlorine killed the fish in a limited area.”

The meeting was chaired by Dr Al Zayani and discussed relations between GCC member states and regional and international organisations.

Participants discussed how to carry out environmental partnership programmes in the region with organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (Ropme) and the World Bank.

It also focused on Gulf co-operation with Jordan, Morocco and Turkey in the fields of environment, renewable energy, natural resources and sustainable development.

Seventeen draft edicts will be submitted to the GCC environment affairs ministers, who will meet tomorrow.

Dr Al Zayani said that water scarcity was the biggest issue facing Bahrain.

“We have an increase in demand and don’t have enough resources to cover it,” he said.

“All the studies that we’ve done indicate that air pollution is within acceptable boundaries.

“It has not reached a level where we have to worry.

“But water, and the scarcity of water in the future, that’s the real worry that we have.”

He said the SCE’s job was to evaluate projects, ban any industries that could harm the environment and discuss the issue with other national and regional bodies.

“We also refer any cases of violation to the Public Prosecution,” he added.

“There have been many cases of the sort that we have handed over to the Prosecution.

“On this ground, the Public Prosecution and the courts take the necessary action.”

He also highlighted the dangers to marine life in the Arabian Gulf, which are mainly caused by continuing maritime activity.

“Eight of the biggest developing countries in the world today are using this body of the sea,” he said.

“Natural changes, climate changes, and temperature changes affect it.

“Fishing, illegal fishing, and the many activities that take place, including drilling for and movement of oil, desalination, and use of water in industry, have knock-on effects for the Bahraini environment.”

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