Lisa Kirkland, Manager of Pollution Monitoring and Assessment at NEPA
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says preliminary information suggests the fish kill in the Kingston Harbour was caused by an algal bloom.
Algal bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in marine systems.
Lisa Kirkland, Manager of Pollution Monitoring and Assessment at NEPA, said the resulting decrease in oxygen in the water is affecting fish in the area.
"The readings that we're getting is between 3 to 4.7 milligrammes per litre. However, when we look at our background information looking from May/August to November we're seeing a reading of 5.6 to 6.9 (mg/L) in the same area. And essentially, tropical shallow water fish...need at least 5 miligrammes per litre for them to be okay," she outlined.
She said excess nutrients and high temperatures are factors which lead to algal bloom.
"There is at least 19 drainage system that enters into the harbour which carries (sic) nutrient rich soil water into the harbour, and here the temperature fluctuates. But with high temperatures, it's possible that these nutrients form nutrient rich water, which will see the proliferation or the growth of these single cell organisms; hence the red colour that we call algal bloom," he explained.
NEPA reported the fish kill on Wednesday and warned persons not to eat the fish.