Oil spill kills fish along Peochakuri coastline
Dead fish have reportedly washed ashore at Peochakuri coastline in South Guadalcanal.
MV Haura at Peochakuri shoreline. Photo Supplied.
The fish kills were believed to have been caused by spills of oil from the ill-fated MV Haura that washed ashore at Peochakuri shoreline, purportedly due to engine problem on August 20, 2021.
Gordon Roni, Chairperson of Peochakuri Land Owning Group said they notice small fish have died along the Peochakuri shoreline since Sunday August 30, 2021.
Mr Roni said this has become a great environmental concern for the people there, and they are now no longer able to fish, which is their main source of protein.
“The problem caused means we will no longer eat fish from now and onwards,” said Roni.
Mr Roni called on the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management – Environment Division to conduct an immediate environment assessment and evaluation on the problem caused.
Mr Roni said the oil spill from the wrecked ship spreads out to about 100 meters in the surrounding sea along the coastline.
“Small fish from the nearby river mouth were also seen dead and washed ashore as well as small coastal fish.
“We request the Environment Division to quickly carry out an immediate assessment on the impact caused by the shipwreck,” Roni said.
Mr Roni said the Peochakuri Land owning group had submitted a request to the Environment Division on this issue.
SIBC News sighted the request letter signed by Mr Roni as Chairman, Vice Chair Mr Patrick Ledi and Secretary Mr John Nonile.
The Peochakuri Land owning group have also requested owners of MV Haura to remove the ship from their coastline.
The Environment Division confirmed receiving the request for assessment from Mr Roni and the Peochakuri landowning group.
The Environment Division director Joe Horokou confirmed receiving the request. The confirmation was relayed to SIBC News through his office, today.
An officer SIBC spoke to today said the assessment team will soon travel to Peochakuri but details of when to conduct the assessment are still yet to be confirmed.
Solomon Islands Maritime Authority Deputy director when reached yesterday directed SIBC News to his Investigation Officer.
Several attempts to get comments from the responsible officer were unsuccessful today as he was out of office.
When reached today, General Manager of Cost U Less shipping that owned MV Haura George Takeli said he will comment on the issue tomorrow afternoon, due to bad phone reception.
SIBC News is seeking comments on whether the company has plans to salvage the ship.
by Jared Koli