Ascension : Update On Fish Kills on Ascension
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 24.03.2011 (Article Archived on 07.04.2011)
The first fish kills on Ascension were initially reported to Tara Pelembe, who now works for JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee).
Tara suggested that CEFAS, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science be contacted, who would be able to offer advice. CEFAS are an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). They are the UK’s leading provider of a wide range of laboratory testing services for government and industry, offering independent advice based on scientific evidence. The Conservation Office has been liaising with CEFAS since the beginning of February, waiting for confirmation that funding will be made available for the testing service. DEFRA have recently written to confirm that they will cover the cost of fish analysis, which is much appreciated. The Conservation Office would like to thank CEFRAS for their advice and assistance so far with the situation.
They would also like to express their thanks to Caroline Yon who has very kindly offered to assist in the collection and dissection of fish samples and Jimmy Young for his assistance in this operation. Frozen samples will be sent to CEFAS shortly once the paper work has been completed and relevant licences received. In addition to fish samples, seawater will also be sent to CEFAS for testing. Thank you also to Shari Parkhill (US Base) and Georgetown hospital for their advice on the collection and preservation of seawater and for the donation of equipment to make this possible.
Further updates will be provided when more information becomes available.