Baytown fishermen lament loss from fish kill

Bay Town Fish
Some of the dead fish at Bay Town

One week after the discovery of dead fishes at Baytown, near the Roseau river mouth, causing a foul odour and attracting numerous birds, the Fisheries Division has disclosed that similar dead fishes are showing up at Rodney’s Rock and Point Round in the north.

Fisheries officials have disclosed that one percent of the sprats population has been affected and that percentage is expected to decline over the next few days.

But for Hudson Toussaint, a fisherman for over forty years in Baytown, the damage has already been done.

He told DNO on Thursday that Baytown fishermen are being disadvantaged by the significant loss of sprats and titiwi and both “big and small” fishermen are grappling with their financial loss.

“All the bait disappear now I not going an fish. Two days I fish, I cannot fish more. Sometimes when the titiwi come, I fishing for two weeks or a week and a half…I satisfying with what I make. That is a rich fishing you know, it worth it. Right now, the titiwi hardly coming because of that old water there,” he pointed out.

This fish kill is being blamed on the toxic waste water from a nearby DOWASCO treatment plant.

Toussaint said he has been sounding the call for a long time now.

“I talk about that already. I inform the fisheries officer many times about that is not his year neither last year…imagine me that force the Fisheries Officer to come there,” he said.

According to him, they are a fishing community and gave a full account of what he saw.

“Fishing we doing here and one of our main fishing is titiwi, and Thursday the Titiwi come in Thursday, then Friday we fish Friday but we were holding our bait on the market side. Saturday, we hold bait on that side but the bait cannot stay on that side the water too deep so they have to cross the next side (Baytown side),” Toussaint explained.

I witness all the titiwi leave come on that side and from time it pass in the dirty water, we go and look for it up there we doh see nothing, nothing, nothing,” he recounted.

“When I come out and fish Sunday as I reach ashore I see the sprats up in the air as though they dying. So I asking them fellas what happening there? Them man tell me the fish just there dying so I put my boat ashore there and I come there and the whole coast there white all in the river,” according to Toussaint.

He said when he started complaining, the company stopped the flow of water some time Monday.

“But the damage have been done already…me urself I pass in the water. The water was scratching all my feet as though is acid that was in the water…so is them that cause that they cannot say is not them,” Toussaint maintained.

Toussaint is calling for better disposal of waste from the DOWASCO plant in the area and a proper investigation by the authorities.

Other Baytown residents point to the irony of the eating frenzy of the large number of birds that has flocked to the area while they (residents) are left without.

Environmental health Officials have told DNO that that an investigation is being conducted into the fish kill.

Meantime DOWASCO has denied that toxic waste from the company’s treatment plant is responsible for the death of these fishes contrary to suggestions the chief fisheries officer that the cause of death could have been due to low oxygen levels in the river following an alleged discharge from the DOWASCO treatment plant at Bay town into the Roseau River.

In a release issued Wednesday, the company rejected any blame for the death of the fishes.

“We are of the opinion that DOWASCO’s operations are not to be blamed for the death of the fishes in the absence of the results of a Bio Chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)  test especially as DOWASCO’s  treatment plant has not experienced any  mishaps in operation during the time suggested by the Chief Fisheries Officer,” the release stated

The company urged a very responsible handling of this ‘unfortunate’ situation and said it “remains willing to cooperate fully with any further investigations to determine the cause of death of the fishes surfacing in the Bay Town area.”

Birds feasting at Baytown
Birds feasting on dead fish at Baytown

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37 Comments

  1. collective
    August 25, 2013

    Below is a list of environmental occurrences from 2012 only. this does not include everything that took place in 2011 and it only goes up to May. Notice anything about this?

    5th May 2012 – 50,000 Fish found dead in a pond in Shenzhen in China.
    5th May 2012 – Mass Bird death discovered in waste water in Finland.
    4th May 2012 – 2 TONNES of dead Fish found in a River in Jinzhou China.
    4th May 2012 – Mass Fish kill found in Muttar River causing panic in India.
    3rd May 2012 – Dead Fish are washing up on shore of Lake Houston in America.
    2nd May 2012 – Large number of fish found dead in River in China.
    2nd May 2012 – Many dead Fish washing up dead in Village causing panic in Turkey.
    30th April 2012 – Hundreds of Bull RedFish found dead in Alabama.
    28th April 2012 – 1200 Pelicans found dead in Peru.
    27th April 2012 – Mass Fish kill on Lake Elsinore in California.
    26th April 2012 – Mysterious Death of possibly thousands of Storks in Thailand.
    25th April 2012 – 11,000 dead Fish found in River in Kettering, America.
    25th April 2012 – 28,000 dead Fish found in River in Strongsville, America.
    25th April 2012 – Porpoises dying in alarming numbers, causing concerns of a local “ecological catastrophe” in China.
    25th April 2012 – 4 Dolphins wash ashore dead at Bandra Bandstand in India.
    22nd April 2012 – Thousands more Fish wash ashore dead in Pakistan.
    19th April 2012 – Thousands of Fish, also Cows and Dogs killed in Pakistan.
    17th April 2012 – Thousands of fish (30 species) dead in a creek in Tennesse.
    17th April 2012 – Thousands of fish continue to turn up dead in the Zandvlei Estuary in South Africa.
    17th April 2012 – Several thousand Fish found dead in River in India.
    17th April 2012 – Thousands of Dead Fish found floating in Pond in India.
    13th April 2012 – Mass Bees falling dead in Canyon Country California.
    13th April 2012 – Hundreds of dead Fish litter Ocean Floor in Durban South Africa.

    11th April 2012 – 300 more Dolphins found dead on beaches in Peru.
    11th April 2012 – 14,000 Fish dead in Creek in Missouri.
    9th April 2012 – Thousands of fish found dead in Lake in India.
    9th April 2012 – 3 Whales wash up dead in India.
    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/07/14/important-is-nature-trying-to-show-us-something/

  2. Justice and Truth
    August 12, 2013

    This is a disaster. It is a world-wide situation. It has occurred in Canada. I have heard the word “airborne illness” which kills them. If sewage water and whatever residue flow into the water and the fishes drink and feed on it, it could kill them.
    The water will have to be tested by experts and as soon as possible to determine if the water is clean and healthy and it caused them to die.
    May this not recur. Dominicans need to eat fishes and the fishermen need to work and catch fishes to sell for their livelihood.
    God help Dominica and its nationals that no more fishes die.

  3. Concerned
    August 10, 2013

    Read people is not Roseau alone, which makes it even worst it may not be Dowasco causing that.

    Fisheries Division has disclosed that similar dead fishes are showing up at Rodney’s Rock and Point Round in the north.

  4. sexydude
    August 10, 2013

    An incident like that happened in Fond ST Jean in the river this year the wildlife people were informed but no one came I remember so many shrimps died .These people are getting paid big money and they not doing their jobs

  5. Big Fish
    August 10, 2013

    Someone should be responsible for this, should be charged and or jailed or else it will happen again as it has before,I would like MR Authorities or (Dowasco) to show the public the waste discharge test report and not a batch report but an instrument continuous TREND REPORT showing all conditions at the time of discharge or at list the basic BOD, COD,and PH. Any company dischargeing waste into our rivers should be held responsible or did we forget to install monitoring instruments on those plants,If so then who”s the Donky now. Do you know this is a multi million dallor charge this is what people go to jail for in other countries and we get away with it in Dominica. So lets see what happens now.

  6. Guest
    August 10, 2013

    DNO on another point, good job telling the internet community how virtually impossible it is to read Dominican English.

    You would do well to not quote some of the locals.

    • Justice and Truth
      August 12, 2013

      You mean “broken English” or “bad English”? This is what it is.

  7. me
    August 10, 2013

    So if they blame dowasco for this how do they explain the same situation at the other two locations. Hmmmmmmm

  8. Rastar-Marn
    August 10, 2013

    Garçon Dat muss happen, all dat is d prices allyou have to be pay for so called development allyou not satisfied wiff how dem Caribs used to live in unison with Nature and d land allyou want to bring in all dem Chinaman Products and all Monsanto’s chemicals,,,

  9. anti clock wise
    August 9, 2013

    very sad indeed

  10. The Authorities
    August 9, 2013

    The Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO) is a registered company wholly owned by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

    Everyone has theories, but we the authorities will do our best to deny any responsibility until proof to ascertain the cause of this incident is available.

  11. A Voice
    August 9, 2013

    That is pure nonesense man. Them fishes dying in the vicinity of Dowasco, c’mon man deny it how you want.

    Them Baytown fisherman should sue Dowasco for loss of livelihood. The Ministry of Health ought to intervene and ASAP too.

    There is no doubt that something serious in the water is killing the fishes and man the same thing might happen to them birds that eating the dead fishes.

    So Dominica come man?

  12. Hello Dear
    August 9, 2013

    That makes me sad

  13. I say so
    August 9, 2013

    We cannot eat fish now, and if we go hunting for wildlife to eat we’ll be charged. KFC is the way to go. Get FAT people.

  14. dolly
    August 9, 2013

    i think the fishermens need to come together to protest for their living. i am sure there are many fishermen that only live by the selling of fishes ans thats not the first time this is happening. dowasco if its u please stop if its not u den investigations need to be done all our fishes are being destroyed

  15. positive
    August 9, 2013

    this whole things fall under the topic water pollution. proper methods needs to be put in place for the the protection of our sentitive animals. dead fishes? i mean come on people make a living on these things alot

  16. LCM
    August 9, 2013

    Further more effluence from the Dowasco treatment plant must an should be sampled and analyzed every 24 hrs by MOH paid for by Dowasco to ensure discharge meet established pollution standards. If there is any at all.

  17. anonymous2
    August 9, 2013

    THAT SHOULD GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE TOXIC CHEMICALS THAT MAY BE ADDED TO YOUR DRINKING WATER LIKE THE CHLORINE AND FLOURIDE COMPONENTS. FISH ARE VERY SENSITIVE.

  18. LCM
    August 9, 2013

    This is a very serious matter and should be handled as such. I would hope by now the ministry of health have taken samples of the dead fish for analysis and put out an advisory on fish consumption in the area until they find the cause.
    I would advise also to look out for any cases of dead or sick birds as this may indicate a very serious prob. I do not buy the lack of oxygen story. If the river is stagnant yes. Once a river is flowing and churning there will be oxygen and by the way witness testimony should be considered in the investigation.

  19. Dominiquen
    August 9, 2013

    High water temperature. :?:

    • LCM
      August 9, 2013

      Yes temperature affects oxygen in streams but to me that would drive them away not kill them in that situation. In a closed ecosystem like a lake i would say maybe but not in the mouth of river where there are lots of places to go. Except if dominica so hot that several streams increased temprature depleting oxygen on the coast

    • I say so
      August 9, 2013

      It’s not coming from the boiling lake nuh!

  20. UDOHREADYET
    August 9, 2013

    This is heart breaking. We can do much better at protecting and preserving the environment.

  21. Runawayslave
    August 9, 2013

    Wonder how long it going to take befor the EHO tell people what really going on.All this accuse and denial joggleing not helping,so people cannot bave in the river mouth these days then?If this is happening at other locations then one can suspect that somthing crooked is happen up the river or in the interior.

  22. dfr
    August 9, 2013

    Whatever the reason for all this fish deaths, a thorough effort must be made by the authorities to find the real cause. It would not be a surprise if the cause is toxic waste. If necessary hire independent agencies from the outside to determine the real cause and suggest solutions . Remember we are supposed to be the nature island of this region. This ought to be done immediately .The fisherman’s livelihood must be preserved !

  23. Massacre
    August 9, 2013

    I think the sewage plant is not putting the right measure of disinfectants in the waste to make it neutralized enough.Thus passing the chemicals into the fish.
    Developmentis good, but we cannot afford to have half-hearted people doing these jobs that could cause permanent damage to our eco-system.
    This is a Gov’t issue right there.

  24. mee1
    August 9, 2013

    What the…….. that is a serious thing. what are we really doing in Dominica.

  25. Grammar
    August 9, 2013

    Fish. Not fishes :)

    Admin: Sorry, but ‘fishes’ is correct when there’s more than one type of fish as in sprats and titiwi. ‘Fish’ would be correct if it was only one type of fish.

    • frechman
      August 9, 2013

      tittiwi is all kinds of fish please…………..

      • Justice and Truth
        August 12, 2013

        There are exceptions. Titiwi is a collective name. We cannot say titiws, or titiwes, titiwis… Sounds ridiculous. It does not make sense. :lol:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Justice and Truth
      August 12, 2013

      We hear this in Canada. Some of those educated people as the Media say “fish”. I have never heard them say “fishes”. Once again I will say also the US and Europe.
      Fish is the singular tense. Fishes for plural, more than onoe – the plural tense is correct. Some people adopt and copy what they hear.
      If we learned proper English, spelling, singular and plural, we should not deviate from them.
      Example: There are plenty ‘fishes’ in the sea or many ‘fishes’ died. Note the sense of it.

  26. I say so
    August 9, 2013

    Sign of trouble, and maybe more troubling than we think. Something is definitely wrong in the water.

  27. Dominican
    August 9, 2013

    Government wise up if the water can kill fish it will kill humans to. Please protect your people. No hard feelings just ask Dowasco to think about the general public.
    Iam surprised that the Dominican population is not busy writing comments to safeguard themselves or is it juicier when the subject is about the Island Queen or Skerritt . If it was me I would be up in arms because maybe the entire population is being slowly poisoned.

  28. Malgraysa
    August 9, 2013

    Can Dowasco categorically tell us that at no time have they released any raw sewage into the sea?

  29. WHAT
    August 9, 2013

    nature island…fix this :-x :-x :-x :-x :-x :-x :-x

  30. LOOK OUT
    August 9, 2013

    WE ARE SELF DISTROYING, AND BECAUSE OF GREED, WE HAVE OTHER FOREIGNERS DOING MORE DAMAGE. I AM ABOUT 55 YEARS IN DOMINICA, WE NEVER HAVE DEAD FISH WASHING UP ON SHORE LIKE THAT. AND MORE OVER, TE -TE- WE WAS ALWAYS IN ABOUNANCE. THEY HAVE INTERFERED WITH OUR NARURAL HABITAT, AND NOW WE ARE PAYING FOR THAT. WHEN WE SEE FISH DYING, THAT MEANS THERE IS NOT MUCH OXYGEN IN THE WATER. AND THE SADDEST,SADDEST THING THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER IS, AN INCREASE IN CANCER IN THE COUNTRY AND THE CARIBBEAN.

    THERE IS AN ISLAND IN PURTO RICO CALLED ‘VIEQUES’. WITH ALL THE DAMAGE AMERICA HAS DONE TO THAT ISLAND, THERE IS A HIGH INCREASE IN CANCER AND POVERTY. ‘TAKE HEED’

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