Millions of dead fish washed up on the shore due to the heat in Australia
Millions of dead fish have washed ashore in southeastern Australia in what authorities and scientists say is caused by flooding and hot weather.
CANBERRA, Australia — Millions of dead fish have washed ashore in southeastern Australia in what authorities and scientists say is caused by flooding and hot weather.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries said the death of the fish coincided with a heat wave that put pressure on the system, which had experienced extreme conditions from large-scale flooding.
The deaths were likely caused by low oxygen levels as the floods receded, the department said, and the situation worsened as the fish needed more oxygen due to warmer weather.
Residents of the sparsely populated town of Menindee complained about the terrible smell from dead fish.
“As soon as we sort of started to clean up, and then this happened, and now you seem to be walking in a dried mess, and then you feel this putrid smell. It’s a terrible smell and it’s terrible to see all this dead fish,” said local resident Jan Dening.
Nature photographer Jeff Looney spotted huge clumps of dead fish near the main dam at Menindee on Thursday evening.
“The stench was terrible. I almost had to put on a mask,” Looney said. “I was worried about my health. This water from the very top goes to our pumping station for the city. People north of Menindee say cod and perch swim everywhere in the river.”
In recent weeks, massacres have been reported along the Darling Baaka River. Tens of thousands of fish were found at the same location in late February, while there were several reports of dead fish downstream towards Punkari, close to the borders of the states of South Australia and Victoria.
Huge fish kills occurred on the river at Menindee during a severe drought in late 2018 and early 2019, with locals estimating millions of deaths.
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