Up to a MILLION fish die along a 40km stretch of river after a ‘distressing’ natural phenomenon
- Up to a million fish die in second natural disaster in same spot in under a month
- The mass kill occurred because of the dramatic shift in water temperature
- When algae dies it draws oxygen from the water which can suffocate fish
- Both incidents occurred along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River
- Locals have been taking to social media to share images of the lifeless fish
A natural disaster has struck the same stretch of river twice in a matter of weeks, resulting in the death of up to a million fish.
Hundreds of thousands of fish have been killed along a 40-kilometre section of the Darling River, in far west New South Wales.
It’s believed the mass deaths occurred because of the dramatic shift in water temperature which caused algae to die. When the plants died, they decayed and drew oxygen from the water, which sadly suffocated the fish.
Hundreds of thousands of fish have been killed along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River
Native species, including Bony Bream, Marry Cod and Perch are thought to have been just some of the breeds affected, according to ABC News.
In a fluke phenomenon, the same section of riverbed in the freshwater lakes of Menindee, near Broken Hill, suffered a similar natural catastrophe just before Christmas where an estimated 10,000 fish died.
The Department of Primary Industries’ Fisheries Manager Iain Ellis told reporters this is the first time he’s seen two such sad and shocking fish kills so close together.
He said: ‘I’ve never seen two fish kills of this scale so close together in terms of time, especially in the same stretch of river.
‘In both cases it’s when the algal bloom has been disrupted.
Fisheries Manager Iain Ellis told reporters this is the first time he’s seen two such sad and shocking fish kills so close together
(File picture) Native species, including Bony Bream, Marry Cod and Perch are thought to have been just some of the breeds affected
WHAT IS ALGAL BLOOM?
The mass kill occurred because an algal bloom had been disrupted due to a shift in water temperature
When an algal bloom is disrupted it can cause the algae to die
When the plants die, they decay and draw oxygen from the water
The severely lower levels of oxygen in natural waters can kill marine life
The mass kill can occur from purely natural causes
‘The first time due to a storm, and in this case, by the cold front that went through,’ he explained.
Local residents have been taking to social media to share the shocking images of the lifeless fish.
One man took to his Facebook account to attribute the incident to the lack of water in the lakes.
He wrote: ‘Fish still dying in the Darling at Menindee this morning 10’s of thousands yesterday there be 100’s of thousands if not in the Millions today!
‘Menindee lakes where almost full less than two years ago now there’s no water left.’
Another resident called for the government to adopt a ‘whole system approach’ to more effectively manage the water.
However, a spokesman from the Department of the Environment and Energy denied the fish kill was due to the mismanagement of water.
They said: ‘A fish kill of this nature is always very distressing but the causes are directly related to the current drought and cease-to-flow conditions.’
Local residents have been taking to social media to share the shocking images of the lifeless fish
(File picture) There is 2.5% of water remaining in the lakes, according to the WaterNSW website