A total of 353 fish have so far died in suspected poisoning at Kabalye 1 Cell in Karujubu Division, Masindi Municipality.
The Kabalye A and B Fish Farmers Group Chairman, Siraj Baguma, told Kazi-njema News today (Monday) that he first received information from the pond guard about some fish floating on the pond water on Saturday only to find that they had died under unclear circumstances.
Mr Baguma said by yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, more than 100 tilapia fish had already died hastening to add that the death toll hiked with today (Monday) having more than doubled to 353 dead fish.
Speaking at the pond, the chairman said the tragedy had caused them ‘financial loss’ revealing that some of the fish was more than eight months old.
When contacted, the Masindi District Principal Fisheries Officer, Prudence Alituha, said her office was investigating the circumstances under which the fish died.
However, she said that it is highly suspected that the fish died of poisoning due to misuse of herbicides and pesticides around the pond.
Ms Alituha also points at lack of oxygen in the pond caused by farmers blocking water into and out of the pond. She said lack of oxygen manifests with the colour of the pond water.
She advised the farmers not to eat the dead fish rather preserve them until they come out with the exact cause of their death. The fisheries officer said that samples would be taken to Entebbe for testing to ascertain the exact cause of the death.