Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Outram River fish kill ... health authorities advise against eating

Published:Friday | October 17, 2014 | 4:27 PM

The North East Regional Health Authority is urging people not to eat anything from the Outram River in St Mary where there has been a massive fish kill.

In an advisory issued Friday afternoon, the authority said there should be no harvesting of dead fish for sale or human consumption.

It also said the source of the contamination is being investigated by the St Mary Health Department and samples are being collected for further probe.

The matter had also been referred to National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Agriculture Ministry and the Port Maria Police.

The North East Regional Health Authority says the Public Health Department will seize and condemn any fish suspected to be unfit.

How to identify spoiled fish

1. The smell of fresh fish is specific to its origin (sea, lake, river, fish pond) and it is pleasant and neutral. Spoiled fish has an unpleasant, sharp smell (bad fish) and rot.

2. Eyes of fresh fish are bulging and shiny. Eyes of spoiled fish are cloudy and sunken into the head.

3. Gills and fins of fresh fish are moist. In old fish they are dry, covered with sticky slime, grayish-brown in color and smell bad. Healthy gills are of a nice, bright red color.

4.Skin in live and fresh fish is moist, must be unharmed and have a naturally metallic glow. Scales must be tightly attached to the body. The surface of healthy, fresh fish must be tight and shiny so that fish slides out of your hands. Discoloration and cracked skin are signs of rotting fish. Old or bad fish has already started losing its scales.

5. Slime is equally distributed over the fish, it is clear and odorless. With bleeding, slime gets increased, murky and dirty and has a sour smell.

6. The body of a fresh fish is firm and has a specific consistency and appearance. When pressed it should bounce back. Soft, grey and inelastic fish is old or bad.

7. The belly of a live and fresh fish is shiny and undamaged, and the anal opening is tight. Anal opening of old and bad fish sticks out and is yellow-brown in color.


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Jamaica Gleaner

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