A large number of dead fish wash ashore near an Australian town. Residents of the Australian town of Menindee in New South Wales have woken the very morning to find millions of dead fish in their river. The residents complained of a terrible smell, after the horrific incident.
The primary reason given by the officials of New South Wales is that it can be due to the flood water receding. The oxygen level in the water drops as the flood water recedes into the river (hypoxia). And the main reason for exacerbating conditions can be because of the fact that fish need higher oxygen in the warm weather and as warm water holds less oxygen than cold water it could have led to the cause of millions of dead, according to the Department of primary industries.
Around 500 people in the population of the town have been hit by floods and drought in recent years. The state’s authorities claimed that populations of fish like bony herring and carp had increased in the river during earlier floods, but that as the floodwaters receded, they were now swiftly falling.
The New South Wales government said on Friday that this is the third mass killing in the region in recent years. The authorities added that mass killings have been reported on the Darling – Baaka river in late February.
“As far as the eye can see, there are dead fish, which is just horrifying,” said Menindee resident Graeme McCrabb to AFP. It’s difficult to imagine. The environmental damage is beyond comprehension.
It is alarming, as the world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the start of the industrial era. The temperature in Menindee was expected to reach 41C on Saturday.
Previously, fish fatalities were observed in the same area in 2018 and 2019. Under extreme drought conditions in late 2018 and early 2019, massive fish kills occurred on the Menindee River, with locals estimating millions of fatalities.
The locals in the regional town depend on the Darling – Baaka river for their water supplies, as they use that water for cleaning and washing purposes, but now they won’t be able to use that water for their basic needs again.
This week’s fatalities have thrown light on the problems faced by the Darling Basin.
The increased use of water for human purposes has led to the decline of the health of the Darling ecosystem.
Very high consumption from the water bodies by Industries, agriculture and communities has also resulted in the very low flow of the river, said Murray Darling Basin authority.
The Basin is also prone to major weather events and has a very fluctuating climate, making it vulnerable to both fires and droughts, according to the report.
The authorities of New South Wales took the initiative back in 2012 to save the river from drying up and returning it back to a healthier state and a plan involving $13 billion (£8.45 billion at the time) was made to revive the river.
The New South Wales department of primary industries stated that it will collaborate with federal authorities to respond to the current occurrence in the state and determine the root causes of the deaths.