UC Rusal WINDALCO says it has released more than 4,000 Tilapia fingerlings into the Rio Cobre in St. Catherine as part of efforts to replenish the fish stock of the river.
But the Jamaica Environment Trust, JET, has raised questions about the manner in which the restocking was done.
Robian Williams reports.
The Company had committed to repopulating the Rio Cobre following a spill from its effluent holding pond in July 2022 and a subsequent order from the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA.
One of the many concerns of JET’s CEO, Dr. Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie, is that the restocking of the river was done without consulting the fishers who are to benefit from the activity.
Dr. Rodriguez-Moodie says multiple letters which were sent to NEPA by JET requesting an update on the ecological assessment have gone unanswered.
She’s calling for greater transparency with regards to the incident.
In a statement to the media on Friday, WINDALCO said the activity was coordinated by the company’s Environment & Safety Department in collaboration with the National Fisheries Authority, NFA.
It says the restocking of the river will be done in four phases under the guidance of the NFA and an independent environmental consultant.
But, Dr. Rodriguez-Moodie says no comfort can be had in that statement, as it still raises more questions.
Calls to representatives of WINDALCO and NEPA for a comment, went unanswered.