The eThekwini Municipality has warned the public not to pick up or consume dead marine life lying on beaches in Umdloti and uMhlanga, as they are toxic.
Dead fish and other marine animals have been washing ashore since last week and authorities confirmed they are contaminated with toxic chemicals that washed into the sea during the violent protests.
“The public is also reminded that the beaches north of the Umgeni River are closed as a precautionary measure. The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, bait collection and picking up of dead species.
“Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited until the cause is determined and the threat has abated. A specialised chemical clean-up company, Spilltech, has been appointed to clean up the spill as well as any contamination including the marine life,” said eThekwini Municipality in a statement.
Clean-up crews have been mobilised to gather and dispose of dead marine and bird life. The municipality said they are closely monitoring the area to determine the impact of the spill.
“Thus far, there has been fish kill only in the Ohlanga River Lagoon and beach area and Umdhloti beach.The fish kill follows the toxic chemical spill into the Ohlanga River Lagoon after a chemical warehouse was bunt down during this week’s unrest.”
The river mouth was left open to dilute the contamination in the lagoon, but any fishing or swimming activity here is still prohibited.
If you come across any further contamination or fish kill, contact Ackshay Moonilall from Spilltech on 073 352 0730, or e-mail [email protected]