Fishing suspended in parts of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire after chemical spill

Kate Scotter
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
8:17 AM

Fishing has been suspended in the Wash after thousands of fish died due to a chemical spill.

The Environment Agency has linked the spillage of 5,000 litres of toxic chemicals in the River Nene at Orton Southgate, near Peterborough, with the deaths of the fish and said thousands more could die.

It has also led to the closure of a seafood fishery in King’s Lynn on the advice of the Food Standards Agency.

Stocks landed will be tested for possible contamination and boats will not be allowed to fish today (Wednesday).

Sections of the river from Orton Mere to Wisbech have been affected.

The agency said some roach, loach, eels, perch and tench would probably die but others are expected to recover.

Full results of water samples are expected late today.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Although the pollution is very toxic to the environment around Peterborough, the agency has been managing water flows between Orton Mere and the Dog in a Doublet Sluice to help dilute it.

“This has lowered the risk to people in contact with the water, although they are still advised to from stay away from it as a precaution.

“Anglers are being advised to stop fishing the stretch for a few days to give remaining fish a chance to recover.”

The agency has alerted organisations and agencies which use the river or extract its waters.

Staff are also in talks with groups around the Wash to ensure the risk to waters beyond Wisbech is understood and managed.

A police spokesman said they were working with the Environment Agency to discover the cause of the chemical spill.


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