‘Millions’ of dead fish clog Darling River – DW – 18/03/2023

Millions of dead fish have clogged the Darling River in Australia this week.

ABC reported on Saturday that state fisheries officials had been dispatched to assess the matter.

Environmental officials in the state of New South Wales blamed low oxygen levels in Australia’s second-largest river for the massacre.

“We’re seeing tens of kilometers of fish really as far as the eye can see, so it’s quite a scene,” New South Wales Government fisheries spokesman Cameron Lay told the ABC.

An image posted on Twitter by public broadcaster SBS showed the boat navigating through thousands of dead fish on the surface of the river.

Millions of dead fish in an Australian river

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What caused the mass death?

The government of Australia’s most populous state said “millions” of fish had died near the small town of Menindee.

The city is located about 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles) west of the state capital, Sydney.

This is the third mass death in the region since 2018.

Recent floods had led to increases in bony herring and carp populations in the Darling River, and the fish were now dying in the aftermath.

“These fish kills are associated with low water oxygen levels (hypoxia) as floodwaters recede,” the New South Wales government said.

“There is a large number of fish kills (mainly Bony Herring) in the Darling River between Lake Wetherell and the village of Menindee,” the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Water Division said on Friday.

The agency warned that oxygen levels in rivers could drop over the weekend as temperatures rise. Cooler temperatures return next week.

In Menindee, the reason for previous fish kills was a prolonged drought and then a toxic algal bloom.

sdi/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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