ENVIRONMENT Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has ruled out pollution as the cause of a major crab and fish kill at Inverloch’s Anderson Inlet.
And they have concurred with local fishermen by saying the cause is likely to be adverse weather, low oxygen levels or temperature change in a small lagoon.
“The EPA has investigated the cause of a fish death incident at Inverloch beachfront,” they said in a statement last Thursday, May 21.
“Dead fish and hundreds of crabs were recently found between Veronica and Abbott Street. The incident is confined to a small lagoon separated from the rest of Andersons Inlet. The fish and crabs are currently being fed upon by birds.
“EPA officers visited the site this morning and found no signs of pollution.
“Enquiries indicate the event has likely occurred from natural causes.
“Fish deaths can occur due to a change in weather conditions and water temperature, low oxygen levels, algal blooms, pollution or disease,” they said.
Even before the EPA and Parks officers had visited the area on Wednesday last week, nearby resident and professional fisherman for more than 50 years, Bob Young pointed to the cause.
“It’s all concentrated around this one lagoon because the outlet has largely been closed off and if you ask me, there’s also seaweed rotting in the lagoon as well,” he said on an inspection last week.
But Mr Young said he wasn’t concerned about the smell.
“It’s just nature taking its course.”
President of the Anderson’s Inlet Angling Club, June Laycock agreed, declaring it was safe to take fish from the main inlet but not from around the closed lagoon.
“Erosion, high winds, tides and wave action has created the situation and the seaweed washed into it has started to decompose which is killing the fish.
“There were rumours of something coming down Ayr Creek but they’d have seen that when they came down and investigated.
“It’s OK to fish in Andersons Inlet but I wouldn’t be picking up any fish around there (the lagoon) and eating it.
“The birds have been having a field day,” she said.
EPA encourages members of the public to report suspected pollution of the environment to EPA on 1300 372 842.