Some people may have deposited toxic chemicals into rivers so they can easily harvest prawns.
Fisheries Aquaculture South officer, Andrew William told 96 Kizzy Kalsakau on Nightly News Show that the Mele River could be contaminated with a chemical substance which could be a deliberate action for harvesting purposes.
William made the statement following the strange sight of dead prawns found floating in Mele river yesterday morning.
Nightly News has also been informed that similar occurrences have been reported in several rivers on Efate.
However, William is discouraging the practice as it does not only cause harm to live resources on the river but also adversely affect people who are benefitting from the river as well as its resources.
The Aquaculture Officer has advised the public to stay out of the river for at least three days, as he explained that if the rivers were contaminated with chemical substances, it would be unsafe.
He confirmed the Fisheries Act prohibits the use of toxic chemicals on rivers and anyone caught doing so will be penalized.
On the other hand, Chief Simeon Poliapa of Mele village confirmed to Daily Post yesterday that he believed there are people who are responsible for depositing the toxic chemical into the water and he “has already filed a report with the police to investigate the incident”.
He added that he would also request the relevant authorities to take samples of the water to determine whether or not their river had been contaminated intentionally.