“Millions” of dead fish clog the Darling River – DW – 18.03.2023

Millions of dead fish clogged Australia’s Darling River this week.

Public broadcaster ABC reported Saturday that state fisheries officials have 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 mass die-off.

“We’re seeing dozens of miles where there’s fish as far as the eye can see, so it’s quite a confronting scene,” New South Wales government fisheries spokesman Cameron Lay told ABC.

The footage, posted to Twitter by public broadcaster SBS, showed a boat navigating thousands of dead fish that littered the surface of the river.

Millions of dead fish in Australian river

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What caused the mass extinction?

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

The city is around 1,000 kilometers west of the state capital, Sydney.

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

Recent flooding had led to a boom in boneless herring and carp populations in the Darling River, with subsequent fish kills.

“These fish kills are related to low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia) as flood waters recede,” the New South Wales Government said.

“In the Darling River between Lake Wetherell and the parish of Menindee there are large numbers of fish kills (mainly bony herring),” the NSW Department for Planning and Environment’s water department said on Friday.

The agency warned that the river’s oxygen levels could drop as temperatures rise over the weekend. Cooler temperatures are expected to return next week.

Previous fish kills in Menindee have been attributed to an ongoing drought and then a toxic algal bloom.

sdi/msh (Reuters, AFP)


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