KARACHI, Aug 6: Samples of the fish that died in huge numbers in the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) area on Monday would be tested at the Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and the marine fisheries department’s laboratory.

This was stated by the director general of marine fisheries department, Shaukat Hussain, while commenting on the mass death of fish, largely comprising mullets that live in shallow water and are consumed locally.

Experts had blamed the toxic waste coming from the Site industrial area through the Lyari river for the death of fish.

Commenting on media reports that that selling of contaminated fish had been allowed to fishmeal factories, Mr Hussain said: “The department has written letters to fishmeal processing units directing them not to use that fish in manufacturing fishmeal in their plants,” adding that the deaths were likely caused on account of waste water flowing in the Lyari river and connected channels.

He said that the turbid water, mud, industrial and solid waste had reduced the level of dissolved oxygen in the seawater, subsequently killing the fish. He said that the fish samples collected by the department were of good texture and there were no marks of wounds or traces of oil on them.

Meanwhile, a KPT official said that the organization had strictly ensured that the dead fish were collected from the navigation channel and shifted directly to a landfill site via the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation trucks.

“But, we can’t say what happened in areas like the China Creek,” he said.

The KPT, he explained, was part of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s project under which capacity of three sewage treatment plants would be enhanced and waste water coming from Lyari and Malir rivers would be treated.

“A feasibility report has been prepared under another project to trap solid waste,” added the KPT official.