Recurring Environmental Disaster in Vorotan River: Dying Fish

Recurring Environmental Disaster in Vorotan River: Dying Fish


In the spring of 2018 a die-off of fish was recorded in the Vorotan River as a result of the branchias blocked with silt. A large volume of water has washed off layers of soil and possible household garbage roiling and making the water flowing in the Vorotan turbid. According to the local residents, there was a collapse of the sluice of the excessive point of Zardov reservoir in Brnakot Community, Syunik Region. The reservoir is under the supervision of Syunik Regional Water Usage Department of RA State Committee of Water Industry.

 Zardov Reservoir

 Vorotan River

The clear water flows in Shaqi Tributary, which then flows into the Vorotan

A large die-off of fish has also been recorded in “Min-Hov” LLC’s fish farm constructed down Shaqi waterfall, which also uses the water of the Vorotan River.

 “Min-Hov” LLC’s fish farm, which uses the water of the Vorotan River


Dead Fish in“Min-Hov” LLC’s fish farm

In their interview with EcoLur, the company workers said the same disaster happened also in 2017. No people responsible for this environmental disaster have been made responsible. “Min-Hov” LLC made a report to the police in 2017, which says, “The employees of State Committee of Water Industry changed the location of the sluice, i.e. the sluice has been raised. The occurred disaster shows that the change in the sluice increase is the result of wrong engineering estimations. Because of raising the sluice, the water volume increase and fell over the reservoir across all the length of the concrete dam. When the metallic sluice was destroyed, the water started flowing down the mountain impetuously. We find that a criminal act has been committed with the features of Article 315(2) of RA Criminal Code (official negligence), which caused an environmental disaster negligently.” A criminal case has been initiated based on the complaint, nevertheless the culprits haven't been detected. Sisian Investigation Department of Syunik Regional Criminal Investigation Department has reached a decision to close the criminal case because of the absence of the corpus delicti.

According to Ichthyologist Samvel Pipoyan, Professor at Biology and Teaching Methodology Department, Khachatur Abovyan Armenian State Pedagogical University, Dr. in Biological Sciences, this part of the Vorotan River is inhabited with the brown trout, Kura barbell, South Caucasus Sprilin, Prussian Carp, varicorhinus. The brown trout and varicorhinus are in the most vulnerable position, as they are most valuable,' Samvel Pipoyan said.

According to the hearsay, the aim to increase the sluice of Zardov reservoir was to direct the excessive water of the reservoir for the operation of SHPPs operating in the areas of Brnakot and Shaghat communities. It is also not excluded that the pollution of Vorotan River water can be the result of performing other construction works in the riverbed.
In this regard, EcoLur has been addressing alarms signals on the recurring environmental disaster in the Vorotan River to Nature Protection and Soil Inspection Body of RA Nature Protection Ministry, so as this body carries out inspections to find out why the soil was washed away, the Vorotan River was polluted and the fish reserves were died off, as well as to carry out inspections in the place of raising the sluice in Zardov reservoir.

May 07, 2018 at 19:48