City of Cape Town probes cause of fish die-off in Milnerton Lagoon

Approximately 500 fish have died at the mouth of Milnerton Lagoon.

City to probe into the cause of fish die-off in Milnterton Lagoon
(Facebook: Kelly Van Der Toorn)

City to probe into the cause of fish die-off in Milnterton Lagoon (Facebook: Kelly Van Der Toorn)

The City of Cape Town is investigating the cause of a massive fish die-off at the mouth of Milnerton Lagoon.

This follows widespread complaints from residents about a worsening foul stench around Milnerton Lagoon this week.

The Milnerton Central Residents Association wrote to mayoral committee member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien, complaining that the sandy bed of the lagoon was strewn with small dead fish.

The organisation also called for the results of the water testing analysis to be shared with affected communities following allegations of an effluent discharge from the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works.

“… it would be appreciated if the water test results on the actual effluent being discharged are shared with the affected communities.”

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“This needs to include chlorine and COD (chemical oxygen demand) levels as heavy dosing of chlorine will reduce the e. Coli levels. However, the non-compliant effluent may still cause major damage to the ecosystem and, by overloading the system with nutrients, cause toxic algal blooms,” she added.

The City said it was aware of the fish die-off and had arranged for the collection of dead fish at the mouth of Milnerton Lagoon on Thursday.

“Approximately 500 fish, consisting of juvenile mullet species, primarily southern mullet (Liza richardsoni), were collected in the shallows and on the eastern shoreline. The fish were removed for disposal by a team from the Table Bay Nature Reserve on the same day,” the City of Cape Town said.

The City added that it had initiated an investigation to determine the possible causes of the fish die-off, including an analysis of the water quality.

“In the meantime, we continue to monitor the situation.”

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