Dead fish dumped in Kalkara underground chamber caused foul smells and maggots

The environment authority ordered an oil tanking facility in Kalkara to remove a pipe that served as a discharge point for water but maggots and foul smells were the result of fish dumped in the area

Maggots and a foul smell polluted the rocks at Kalkara
Maggots and a foul smell polluted the rocks at Kalkara

Fish dumped in an underground chamber at the back of Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara may have caused the foul smell and maggots that infested the rocks in the area a few weeks ago, MaltaToday has learnt.

Black, maggot-infested water streaming down the rocks and into the sea, was filmed by a concerned Kalkara resident in August and distributed to the media. The footage also showed a plastic pipe leading down to the sea, which served as a discharge point of sorts.

The stomach-churning footage of white maggots caused outrage and prompted Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield to take up his constituent's plight and write to the Environment and Resources Authority and the Environmental Health Directorate.

ERA officials visited the site last week and ordered the Kalkara Oil Tanking facility that is housed inside Fort Ricasoli to remove the discharge pipe, which had already been the subject to an enforcement order last year. The discharge of liquid onto the rocks from the oil tanking facility has been a long-standing issue.

Bedingfield told MaltaToday that the pipe had been removed by the time health inspectors visited the area on 11 August, a day after the footage was broadcast on various news sites.

“The pipe should not have been there but it transpires from what I have been told by the health authorities that the maggots and the foul smells may have been caused by dead fish that were dumped by an irresponsible person in one of the underground chambers in the area that got flooded by the rain,” Bedingfield said.

The area around Fort Ricasoli contains a number of underground chambers and passageways.

He noted that no oil spills were detected by the health inspectors. It remains unclear whether ERA officials, who visited the area in the previous days had noted any discharge of liquid from the plastic pipe.

After publicly lamenting the “unacceptable” situation when it was flagged, Bedingfield expressed satisfaction that the authorities took action and called for more responsibility from all concerned.

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