THE Environment Agency say the devastating River Witham fish kill could have killed many hundreds of thousands of fish.

Just a few of the dead fish from the River Witham pollution.

Just a few of the dead fish from the River Witham pollution.

As we reported in March, the EA wouldn’t reveal a figure of dead River Witham fish but Angler’s Mail estimated it to be tens of thousands.

Now the EA have confirmed the death toll from Bardney Lock down to Boston could be “several times higher than 100,000” but wouldn’t disclose the source of the ammonia as it would prejudice its investigation.

In a statement, the EA said: “According to our latest estimates, the pollution that occurred in the River Witham in March has caused the death of no fewer than 100,000 fish. The exact figure is likely to be higher and could be several times this.”

New European Union laws that are  in place mean that wealthy firms now have to pay much more, like the record £20.3 million fine to Thames Water last year.

But former barbel record holder and conservationist Ray Walton thinks these don’t go far enough.

Ray fumed: “Depending on who the polluter is and history, they should be prosecuted, fined out of their own personal assets and the directors jailed.

“As with the £20million Thames Water fine, it is not enough as they still carry on doing it. It is cheaper in the long term to pollute than pay the costs of proper treatment and maintenance.”

Lauren Vickers CEO of the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust said: “We are utterly devastated by this massive loss of fish. If any other animal was lost at this scale there would be a national outcry.”

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