Australia: Millions of dead fish wash up in New South Wales state
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Australia’s New South Wales state is battling to deal with millions of dead fish which have washed up in a phenomenon scientists say was caused by recent widespread flooding and hot temperatures, the Washington Examiner reports.
As local residents fought against a foul smell in their efforts to clean up the mess, massive numbers of dead fish continued to flow down the Darling River in NSW’s Menindee region on Friday. The fish were mostly bony bream, golden perch, and silver perch, and some Murray cod, ABC Australia reported at the weekend.
According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the fish died because oxygen levels were too low to sustain them once flood levels decreased, the Examiner said. The situation was further aggravated by the fact the fish needed more oxygen than normal because of hot weather.
“This event is ongoing as a heatwave across western NSW continues to put further stress on a system that has experienced extreme conditions from wide-scale flooding,” the DPI said in a statement. “The amount of dissolved oxygen water can hold decreases with increasing water temperature, which can add additional stress to fish that may already be struggling.”
The DPI said it was monitoring the situation and assessing ongoing risks to the health of fish in the area, ABC Australia reported.