ST CATHERINE, Jamaica – Residents of Portmore in St Catherine are reporting the death of a massive number of fish in the sea as a result of what they believe to be a form of pollutant.
The Jamaica Observer understands that on Wednesday afternoon, a large number of dead fish was seen floating in the sea, stretching from the coast near Port Henderson Road to Edge Water.
One female resident of Edge Water bemoaned that there was dead fish everywhere and called for the authorities to intervene immediately.
"I am concerned about the water in Portmore. We can't eat no fish, because from MegaMart go right round to Port Henderson Back Road, the water is contaminated. There is dead fish in the water everywhere. We don't understand what is going on and this is not the first time things like this happening in Portmore. We need help," she said.
A male resident said he has seen a similar occurrence two other times in the past.
"About three times this happen in the water. Mullet a dead inna di water. The fish dem come up and a gasp for air. When them do dat, a dead dem a dead," he said.
Another male resident was astonished by the site of dead fish floating around and described it as a sheet spread over the sea.
"I've never seen anything like that in my life. The whole fish kill is spread like a sheet over the sea and somebody must be held responsible. This is people's livelihood and everybody is scared and wondering if the fish we are eating is safe because obviously the sea is polluted. We believe the pollution is from a major business but we are not sure exactly which one.
"Fishermen are grumbling because they don't feel anybody is protecting them. This can't just go silent like the other times. Where is the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)? I called their emergency number and heard a recording that said the office was closed and that was at 5:00 pm.
"Everybody is now scared. I am scared now to eat fish because I am wondering why so much fish dead. We don't know what is going on in the sea and where it coming from. We demand a full investigation and investigation into the matter. We need NEPA out here."
Efforts to contact NEPA for comment proved futile up to publication time.