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Wednesday Jun 24, 2015

Hout Bay battles fish factory smells

A meeting to discuss the overwhelming smell of rotten fish emanating from the Lucky Star factory in Hout Bay has been postponed, with no clarity around when it will take place.

The Lucky Star factory, a subsidiary of the Oceana Group.

Lucky Star, a subsidiary of the Oceana Group, and the City's mayoral committee member for health were supposed to meet tomorrow to discuss mitigation measures by the factory to reduce air pollution.

But Oceana spokesperson Bulelwa Nombutuma said the meeting would no longer take place as one of their council members were not available.

The Lucky Star Fishmeal Factory processes fish into fishmeal and oil. Fishmeal is used in animal and aquaculture feed. It is also used as a fertiliser.

"We have adopted various odour minimisation technologies that are aligned with best practices from around the world and this includes, among others, sea water scrubbing, chemical scrubbing and gas combustion. While we continue to investigate, there currently exists no technology which can completely eliminate the smell of fish or those that are characteristic of fishmeal production," Nombutuma said.

Chairperson of the air pollution portfolio for the Hout Bay Residents Ratepayers Association, Kiara Worth said the smell emanating from the factory had been constant for the last 20 years, and it was affecting the well-being and tourism of the area.

The association was to meet City representatives on Monday, where information discussed in tomorrow's meeting was to be relayed.

By last night, Worth had not been informed that tomorrow's meeting had been cancelled.

"We were supposed to hear what had transpired in the meeting. We are also still awaiting feedback from a meeting held several weeks ago. This will affect what is planned for next week. They have lived with the same issue for the last 20 years. The smell is a nuisance to schools, churches and homes, which are all exposed to it," Worth said.

Mayco member for Health, Siyabulela Mamkeli last night could not comment on when the meeting would take place, as he was awaiting information from his department.

Lucky Star was, however, operating within the conditions of its atmospheric emission licence, Mamkeli added.

"Animal matter processing facilities are required to be in possession of an atmospheric emission licence in order to operate. Lucky Star is currently operating within the conditions of its atmospheric emission licence," Mamkeli said.

Cape Times

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