Tighter discharge consents loom to reduce "natural" fish kills

A major fish kill in the Medway estuary in May has highlighted the growing number of such incidents whose immediate cause is oxygen deficiency which develops in warm, dry weather conditions. Although regarded as "natural" by the Environment Agency, the incidents are exacerbated by effluent discharges and water abstractions. If present weather patterns are an indicator of a long-term shift in climate, tougher controls on discharges and curbs on abstractions will be needed to protect aquatic life.

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