Millions of dead fish float on Australia river
A heatwave and recent flooding have caused a mass die-off of native fish in a remote region of south-east Australia. Photos in local media show a carpet of dead fish floating down the River Darling near the small town of Menindee, New South Wales. The broadcaster ABC wrote on Saturday that there had been repeated fish deaths in Menindee in previous years, but according to the authorities, the current extent puts everything in the shade. The AAP news agency wrote of “millions” of dead fish.
The death of the fish is likely due to the heat and low oxygen levels in the water caused by the receding floods, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said. In addition to carp, freshwater herring, Murray cod and perch also died. Temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius were expected in the region for the weekend, ABC further wrote.
Around 500 people live in the village, who are heavily dependent on the water of the river. That’s why fish kills are particularly worrying, according to the ministry. A local resident told the BBC: “We use the river water for washing and showering.” That is now no longer possible.
“The stench was terrible,” local wildlife photographer Geoff Looney said after spotting a huge accumulation of dead fish near Menindee on Thursday, according to AAP. “I almost had to put on a mask.” Fish died en masse in the river during the severe drought of late 2018 and early 2019, according to the AAP.
Australia suffers particularly from that climate change – Heat waves, bush fires and floods are the result. Back in January there were reports of scores of dead carp from the River Murray lying in paddocks rotting in the sun following severe flooding in southern Victoria state.