Millions of dead fish are clogging the river

Millions of dead fish are clogging the river

EA massive fish kill near a small community in the Australian outback is currently causing horror. According to the state government NSW “Millions of fish” have already perished in the Darling River near Menindee. Videos on the online networks showed boats plowing through a dense carpet of dead fish, beneath which the river water can hardly be seen.

“It’s awful – just dead fish as far as you can see,” resident Graeme McCrabb told AFP. It has never been this bad, he said, adding: “The impact on the environment is unimaginable.” The smell in the vicinity can be imagined as something like letting a fish rot in the kitchen, “when all the doors are closed and there’s no air conditioning, and we’ve got millions of them,” McCrabb said BBC.

After recent floods in the region, the fish stocks in the river had risen sharply. But now there is an enormous heat wave again, the water levels are falling rapidly and the fish are dying.

According to the government, fish kills are related to low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia) as flood waters recede. The current one heat wave The situation is even worse in the region, since warmer water contains less oxygen, but at the same time the fish have a higher oxygen requirement at higher temperatures.

Already the third major fish kill in the region

It is the third time that the Menindee region has been hit by a massive fish kill. The previous time in 2019, the cause was the lack of water in the river due to a persistent drought and a toxic algal bloom. Even then, the New South Wales government warned that it would not be the last fish kill.

The spokesman for the fisheries authority, Cameron Lay, spoke of a “horrific scene”. For dozens of kilometers, “as far as the eye can see,” there are only dead fish, Lay told Australian broadcaster ABC. Menindee, with a population of just under 500, is around a twelve-hour drive from Sydney. In recent years it has been repeatedly hit by extreme drought and then by floods.

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