5,000 fish killed in poison ditch – Fishupdate.com

5,000 fish killed in poison ditch Published:  25 October, 2007

Brown trout were amongst the fish killed

AN investigation is under way, after more than 5,000 dead fish were found along a ditch in Oxfordshire.

The discovery, of mostly dead perch, was made along a ditch in Yarnton, Oxfordshire, on Sunday and was reported to the Environment Agency on Tuesday.

According to a BBC News report, the agency said it is the third suspected pollution case in less than a week in the county.

It urged householders and businesses to think before disposing of potentially harmful substances into drains.

More than 100 fish, including brown trout and bullheads, were found dead along a 1km (0.6-mile) stretch of Shill Brook in Carterton, Oxfordshire, last Friday.

On Sunday, EA officers attended reports of a chemical spillage, which had killed more than 250 fish in the Ginge Brook at Drayton, near Abingdon.

The agency said the likely cause of the Carterton and Yarnton deaths were some form of pollution.

Angie Wills, environment management team leader, said: “The past seven days has seen an unprecedented spate of incidents, with up to 6,000 fish including perch, brown trout, stickleback and bullhead killed across Oxfordshire.

“While they are not directly linked, and they may just be an unhappy coincidence, we want to take the opportunity to remind people that whatever they put down their drain could find its way into watercourses and have very grave consequences for local fish and wildlife.

“We urge anyone who sees dead fish, fish in distress or pollution in streams or rivers to call our emergency hotline immediately.

“This not only helps us respond accordingly to reduce the impact of any pollution at the earliest possible opportunity, but it may also help us gather vital evidence, which may lead to a prosecution.”

Investigations into all three incidents are ongoing.

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