Thousands of dead fish floating in the Surabaya River were found by residents in several areas in Gresik Regency, from Driyorejo, Cangkir, to the Warugunung area in Surabaya City. The fish endemic to the Surabaya River died because it ran out of oxygen in the water due to high pollutants in the water.
Manager of the Advocacy and Litigation Program, Institute for Ecology and Wetland Conservation (ECOTON), Azis, said that untreated industrial waste is suspected to be the cause of the large number of dead fish in the Surabaya River. Not only big fish or broodstock, small fish also die and are caught by residents around the river.
“The number is quite large, from one point to another it can reach thousands of fish that die. In terms of size, from small ones to their parents, the big ones also die from the waste from the company,” explained Aziz.
From ECOTON’s observation, Azis said that the condition of the river water where the floating fish was found smelled bad and contained oil. It is suspected that several factories in the upper reaches of the river dispose of waste water without processing it first. This mass death fish incident, said Azis, was the largest since 2019.
ECOTON, said Azis, will report the incident of mass dead fish to the government, so that river water quality checks will be carried out, as well as for companies or factories suspected of disposing of their wastewater without being treated.
“We will file a complaint, after we identified yesterday, then today we will make a complaint to the BBWS (River Area Center), we will make a complaint to the DLH (Environmental Service), and PJT (Perum Jasa Tirta), related to the existence of dead fish event. And we hope that the government can come and conduct a survey or conduct a re-check related to the alleged companies that have disposed of waste without processing it first,” he added.
The Head of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment Research, Directorate of Research and Community Service (DRPM), Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) Surabaya, Warmadewanthi, said that this was the umpteenth time this mass death fish event had occurred. He said the water quality of the Surabaya river was very bad, and he could no longer bear the burden of wastewater from industry and households. This, said Warmadewanthi, cannot be separated from the absence of wastewater treatment plants originating from households, as well as the lack of tightening of regulations related to industrial wastewater quality standards that are allowed to be discharged into rivers.
“From several studies that we have done, the quality of our river water is getting more and more compliant, and we also don’t have many wastewater treatment plants, especially for domestic waste, because what pollutes rivers is not only industrial wastewater. , “explained Warmadewanthi.
The wastewater treatment plant, said Warmadewanthi, must be owned so that the wastewater discharged into the river is truly safe and does not damage the river ecosystem. In addition, the river must be given time to recover its own condition, by not dumping wastewater into the river for a certain period of time.
“The bottom line is how we have a wastewater treatment plant that works well. Then the efficiency is also quite good, so that the level of pollutants released from the wastewater already meets the quality standards. Likewise, regulating, if we look at our industry from an industrial area, so one, the burden is quite heavy. Even though for example, industry A produces according to the quality standard, industry B next to it releases it according to the quality standard, but if it accumulates in water bodies, in rivers, yes, the river is still polluted,” he added. [pr/em]