Falmer Fish Disaster: Dozens of fish die at the pond

DOZENS of fish are dying in an ancient Saxon pond that has dried up in the heat.

Falmer Pond in East Street, Falmer has been shrinking for the last month and several people have reported fish dying.

The fish, believed to be grass or ghost carp, were seen “gasping for air” in the murky waters, but dozens have already died.

Sean Doherty, a retired Brighton fisherman, said he regularly visits the pond with a friend and was horrified to see the “shallow puddle” on Wednesday.

The Argus: Several bodies have been spotted floating in the poolSeveral bodies were spotted floating in the pond

The 61-year-old said: “I was horrified, beyond horrified to be honest. If the community that owns it can’t do anything about it, they should at least spare them their misery. You can’t just leave them there like that.

“Of the 40 or 50 fish in the pond, there are probably about 20 left. There’s half a dozen dead bodies hanging upside down on the surface.

“The other fish are half-swimming, just gasping for oxygen.

“They are probably one of the toughest non-predatory fish out there, they are not weak fish. They are tough and persistent. They can live in pretty much anything, but they can’t live in something that doesn’t contain oxygen.

The Argus: Dead Fish in the Pond on July 28thDead fish in the pond on July 28th

“I know the Council said before it’s because of the climate crisis. You do not take full responsibility. It’s cruelty.”

Last month The Argus reported on the death of fish in the pond at Queen’s Park, West Drive, Brighton.

On Sunday, a group meets at Falmer Pond to try to save the fish.

Yesterday a woman posted on Facebook asking people to help her rescue the “barely alive” fish from the pond.

The Argus has previously reported on the ‘Falmer fish disaster’, with an angler saying he had warned the council about heatwaves drying up the pond.

The Argus: A fish corpse in Falmer Pond in 2020 as the pond dried upA fish corpse in Falmer Pond in 2020 as the pond dried up

Brighton and Hove City Council said Falmer Pond was not designed to have fish in it as the body of water “will inevitably dry up”.

It said it had also made a joint bid with Sound Downs National Park for funding to restore the pond by removing silt in the ground and patching leaks.

A spokesman said: “We appreciate that many residents are upset that ponds in our city are currently drying up and fish are dying.

“Ultimately, the problem is the hot, dry weather we’ve had. This is a national and even international problem caused by climate change.

The Argus: Falmer Pond on Saturday 6th August. Picture by Kristina VoyceFalmer Pond on Saturday 6th August. Picture by Kristina Voyce

“Our ponds are not designed for fish. Like many ponds in the city, Falmer Pond is not fed by a stream but by runoff from the surrounding area, so it inevitably runs dry in times of drought.

“There should be no fish in the ponds in our parks for precisely these reasons. The only reason they are there is because some people release their unwanted fish into them.

“We want to emphasize that people should never do this.

“Amphibians and many other native wildlife that live in our ponds can generally survive droughts.

The Argus: A common carp. Picture by Peter O'ConnorA common carp. Picture by Peter O’Connor

“But amphibians cannot protect themselves from being killed by non-native fish. It is also about protecting our native species.

“In the longer term, our ponds will almost certainly fill up again when the rains return.

“Given the current serious water supply concerns, we are unable to refill the ponds. In either case, filling the pond with tap water would cause another algal bloom which would further deprive the oxygen and thus kill the fish.

“A short-term movement of the fish is extremely difficult due to national regulations for disease testing.

“We will put up signs at Falmer Pond to discourage people from dumping their fish there.”

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20623664.falmer-fish-disaster-dozens-fish-dying-pond/?ref=rss Falmer Fish Disaster: Dozens of fish die at the pond

Fry Electronics Team

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