Poison killing fish, crocs

NOT SAFE: Officials are checking whether fishermen at Nandoni Dam in Limpopo are using poison to increase their catches.Pic: CHESTER MAKANA. 19/10/2009. © Sowetan.
NOT SAFE: Officials are checking whether fishermen at Nandoni Dam in Limpopo are using poison to increase their catches.Pic: CHESTER MAKANA. 19/10/2009. © Sowetan.

THE department of water affairs is investigating the cause of the deaths of crocodiles and fish in the Nandoni Dam, while also warning communities not to eat fish from the dam.

THE department of water affairs is investigating the cause of the deaths of crocodiles and fish in the Nandoni Dam, while also warning communities not to eat fish from the dam.

Three crocodiles and several fish were found dead on Saturday by contractors building a reservoir on the dam site.

Now the department fears other species might be vulnerable to suspected "transient poison" that is used by some fishermen in the dam.

It is alleged that some fishermen at other dams in the province use poison to catch more fish, a method that has left some dams with few crocodiles and fish.

Limpopo water affairs chief directorAlson Matukane said investigations to establish the cause of the deaths have started.

"We have launched investigations into the deaths of crocodiles and fish at Nandoni Dam," Matukane said.

He said they were taking samples to conduct an analysis and postmortem on the carcasses to find out exactly what had contributed to the deaths.

Matukane also blamed oil spillages from fishing vessels used by people fishing without licences.

The community also allegedly used vessels that were not in a good condition.

"Our view is that we could relocate crocodiles to an area where they will be able to increase the population without danger," he said.

He also warned that people found fishing without licences would be prosecuted.

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