Fish found dead at il-Maghluq died from ‘lack of oxygen’

Hundreds of fish found dead at il-Maghluq in Marsascala.

Hundreds of fish found dead at il-Maghluq in Marsascala died from lack of oxygen, the Fisheries Department reported today.

The revelation comes after environment NGO Nature Trust reported it was investigating reports of mass death of fish seen floating at il-Maghluq.

The Fisheries Department said the fish were sea bream and sea bass and cleaners were deployed to clean the area, collecting over six large bags of fish.

According to Nature Trust, the species was not usually found at il-Maghluq. "Our concern is for the rare and protected species, the killifish, which can be found in this salt marsh," the NGO said.

It said it was working with the Local Council, MEPA and the voluntary group Friends of Marsaskala to clean up the area from all the rubbish accumulated during the years as a short term conservation measure till MEPA approved the management plan for this site.

Il-Maghluq is one of the rarest habitat found across the Maltese Islands and is currently undergoing a management plan under the Natura2000 network.

"The incident of the dead fish is another atrocious incident which took place this year, the previous one being the killing of the ducks," Nature Trust said.

The NGO received information that someone had dumped the fish there in the early hours of this morning.  The NGO urged the public to keep il-Maghluq clean and report any illegal activity to the police.  

"We aim to see the area restored to its natural glory and for it to be enjoyed by locals and visitors," said Vincent Attard, Executive President of Nature Trust Malta.