Witness Reporter
1 minute read
5 Jul 2022

KZN yellowfish being reintroduced in Baynespruit River in Pietermaritzburg

Witness Reporter

The yellowfish has been chosen, as the species is an ideal indicator species for general river health.

The KZN yellowfish, which goes by the scientific name, labeobarbus natalensis, is being reintroduced into the Baynespruit River in Pietermaritzburg.

The KZN yellowfish is being re-introduced in Pietermaritzburg’s Baynespruit River as part of an ongoing environmental rehabilitation project started by the Willowton Group.

According to a statement released by the company and its quality and food safety manager, Dr Abie Khan, this freshwater fish’s numbers have decreased due to various anthropogenic pressures, such as increased water usage by growing settlements along the banks of rivers in KZN, deteriorating water quality, and the establishment of barriers and dams that stop migration.

It [yellowfish] has been chosen, as the species is an ideal indicator species for general river health. The re-introduction, or inoculation programme, is a strategic part of a broader commitment by Willowton Group to help improve the Baynespruit, which is one of South Africa’s six most polluted rivers.

Khan said the company has committed to monthly clean-ups of a one kilometre-long stretch of the Baynespruit River — between the bridge at New Greytown Road (Bambatha Road) and the bridge at Manning Avenue in Pietermaritzburg — saying that to date, six clean-ups have been conducted. These include the removal of refuse and invasive vegetation from the river and its banks.

The Willowton Group has been working with stakeholders, including Duct (Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust), as a fellow founder of the Baynespruit Conservancy in 2020, to clean the river and make environmental improvement efforts.

“It is coupled with a monitoring programme being undertaken under the independent supervision and guidance of Dr Mark Graham of Groundtruth as well as studies undertaken by the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The re-inoculation programme and associated independent academic research is being funded by the Willowton Group,” said Khan.