Biological Hazard in The Bahamas on Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 at 17:36 (05:36 PM) UTC.
Hundreds of dead fish and other marine life washed up at Montagu Foreshore yesterday, baffling fishermen and environmental officials alike. The young fish littered the shoreline. There were varying species, including snappers, barracudas, minnows, needlefish, puffer fish and even an octopus. Spokesperson for the Montagu Vendors Association Sherlin Brown said he just wanted to know what was going on. “I’ve never seen this before,” Brown said. “It isn’t normal for you to pick up dead fish all along the bay here. “We know we had other situations with the water. We have customers coming here, people using the water... so we need to know what [is] causing the fish to die and if it’s a danger to the humans because a lot of fish are dying.” Brown said while vendors do not fish near Montagu Beach, if the situation persists it would create a serious problem for them. While a number of fish swam to or washed up onshore, Brown said the seabed was also littered with dead fish. “Some of them (fish) came to the shore disoriented and we tried to put them back in [the water but] they just ended up dying,” he said. Captain Cyril Roker, acting controller at the Port Department, said he got a call from a concerned citizen to investigate the situation. He said his department would alert the relevant authorities to conduct a proper assesment of the event. A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources was also on the scene but he declined to comment, stating he too was only assessing the situatin. Craig Curtis, assistant port controller, said the incident reminded him of an event that happened off the coast of Andros. “It was alleged that it was associated with sonar testing [which] caused some of the fish to float up,” he said. “For me this poses a grave concern because this is the young marine life that is being affected. So it is going to be interesting to see what the marine biologists will conclude once they are done.”