Green energy to help scale back fish deaths during dry weather
Washlands Solar Aerator. Image: Environment Agency
An innovative green solution is being used to help prevent fish deaths during the dry weather in Essex.
The Environment Agency is using solar-powered aeration systems to improve water quality and tackle the impact of hot and dry weather on stillwater fisheries at the Haverhill Newt Pond and Washlands Haverhill.
As it gets hotter during the summer months, temperatures increase, which lowers dissolved oxygen levels and causes fish to become distressed. Water levels may decrease and algal blooms can also become more of a risk, both of which can impact oxygen levels.
The aeration systems help to increase oxygen levels in the water, reducing the risk of fish dying.
Ben Norrington, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer in East Anglia, said: “These are the first aeration systems of this kind that we have seen in the area. We are keen to use similar technology to respond to incidents of low oxygen in the water as it is much more sustainable than the conventional aerators that use gas or petrol.
“By aerating the water, it improves the water quality, which helps create better habitats for the fish and boosts angling participation. We hope that we can use green energy to ensure the health of fisheries and fish farms going forward.”
The solar-powered aerators, costing around £6,000, were funded through the Fisheries Improvement Partnership scheme.