THE killer E.coli bacteria is among pollutants that have triggered warnings by authorities against fishing in the infamous Nabukalou Creek in Suva.
The warning comes as the Suva City Council said it had noticed an increasing number of people fishing from the creek, which runs through the city's central business district.
Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said it was unsafe to eat fish caught from the creek.
SCC special administrator Chandu Umaria said the council was powerless to stop people fishing at Nabukalou.
"The creek comes under the Ministry of Lands and anything to do with fishing comes under the Fisheries Department," Mr Umaria said.
"We don't have the powers to stop people fishing there. We will meet with the ministries of Health and Fisheries soon on the issue," he said. "In the meantime, we will be putting up signs to warn people against fishing there."
Mr Umaria said he believed that sewer was seeping into the creek and that the Water Authority of Fiji was in the process of changing it.
WAF media officer Kelera Serelini however said there was seepage only when there was a failure in the sewer pumps.
This only occurs during unplanned power shutdowns.
However, University of the South Pacific academic Professor Bill Aalbersberg said there was a high level of contamination of bacteria in the creek and this was documented.
"These are not pump systems," Prof Aalbersberg said.
"These are septic tank systems. There is very little checking if people are getting them cleaned up on a regular basis."
He said the creek was contaminated with oil.
Prof Aalbersberg said the level of contamination was much higher than that recommended for human contact by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr Sharma endorsed Prof Aalbersberg's comments and said there was evidence of E.coli in shellfish and chemical pollution as well in waters near the Suva Harbour.
He said past advice to members of the public to refrain from fishing at Nabukalou had fallen on deaf ears.
"It's totally not safe to eat from it," Dr Sharma said.
Dr Sharma said two researches were conducted on those waters found evidence of metallic substance in the water.
He also said the areas in the research were from Lami, the Suva Harbour, Nasese, Vatuwaqa and all the way to the mouth of the Rewa River.