Australia’s Darling River full of dead menindee fish – New Hubs Uk

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Millions of dead fish are clogging rivers in southeastern Australia, angering locals who have to endure the smell of rotting corpses that have covered the water for days. , say it’s due to rising temperatures and a lack of oxygen caused by recent flooding, but residents blame the government for poor water management.

“There’s dead fish everywhere,” Menindee resident Graeme McCrabb said on Sunday, describing the smell of New South Wales’ Darlingvarka River as far-reaching and pungent. Among the fish, he said, are native species such as Kodai, Malatara, Golden Perch, Silver Perch and Carp.

A video he shot from the boat showed a thick carpet of silvery fish carcasses on the surface of the water.

Australian officials have been aware of the disaster since Friday, acknowledging that a “massive fish death event is occurring” involving millions of corpses in the river.New South Wales 1st The Department of Secondary Industries (DPI) blamed the drop in oxygen levels in the water, known as hypoxia, as the floodwaters receded.

“The region’s current hot climate is exacerbating hypoxia, as warm water provides less oxygen than cold water, and fish need more in warmer temperatures,” officials said. said in a statement on Friday.

McCrabb in the same remote location recorded large fish mortality in December 2018 and January 2019. It said this was the result of poor quality water flowing into rivers often used for fishing. But this time the disaster is getting worse, and many in the town are “angry and disappointed” that authorities don’t seem to have learned from previous mass fish deaths, McCrabb said. .

“No one was prepared for what was seen here,” McCrabb said, adding that authorities “failed in their duty to manage the river and collect data to prevent such disasters.” I did,” he added.

“If we knew how good or bad the water quality was, we could make more informed decisions about how to release water downstream from the lake and avoid sending blackwater downstream to kill fish. We can do that,” McCrabb said.

According to the New South Wales Water Authority, blackwater events occur “during flooding when organic matter is washed into the river stream from riverbanks and floodplains.”

The government said the dead fish were mostly bony herring, a species that undergoes ebb and flow in numbers.

“Populations can spike during floods and then experience significant mortality or ‘breakdown’ when water levels return to more normal levels,” DPI Fisheries said. Said. “They may also be more susceptible to environmental stressors such as low oxygen levels, especially under extreme conditions such as the increased temperatures currently being experienced in the region.”

Cameron Ray, Director of Freshwater Environment for DPI Fisheries, described the situation as “extremely dire” and warned that there could be more challenges if temperatures in the region exceed 100 degrees. .

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “we will do all we can to monitor the situation and use the management options at our disposal, as they can themselves pose ongoing risks to water quality and native fish.” he said.

Accelerating climate change is causing water temperatures to rise, cooking organisms in their habitats, experts say. Many species suffocate because warm water cannot hold dissolved oxygen.

A study published last year found that about a third of marine life could become extinct within 300 years if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

Marine life faces mass extinction due to climate change, study finds

The remote location of the recent fish deaths in the westernmost part of New South Wales only exacerbates the disaster. Schools of decaying fish have been visible for at least three days. “It’s hard to get people here in a hurry,” McCrabb said. “If you try to choose [the fish] You’re probably going to break them up and leave the fish soup behind. “

According to New South Wales’ DPI, several agencies are working to respond to the disaster.

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment’s Water Division acknowledged “several fish deaths”, Said “Dissolved oxygen levels remain a concern for fish health.”

“The reality is that the Darling River is very sick. wrote on twitterThe ecosystem is “pushed to the breaking point”.

On Sunday, McCrab said fish continue to die in the water — adding to the already monumental loss of aquatic life. We noticed that a portion of the has begun to migrate downstream.

He said it was likely that there would be more deaths along the river in the next few days.”We are in a damaged world here.

Sarah Kaplan contributed to this report.

Australia’s Darling River full of dead menindee fish – New Hubs Uk

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