Planning underway to remove mass fish kill in eastern Australia

Bangkok, Mar 19 (EFE).- Australian authorities said on Sunday that planning was underway to remove tens of thousands of dead fish that washed up on the shores of a river in a remote part of News South Wales this week.

The large-scale fish deaths were reported on Friday and took place on the Darling River near the town of Menindee in New South Wales.

“Significant planning – including risk assessments – is already underway for clean-up efforts, which will include the removal of as many of the dead fish as possible, prioritising the immediate areas around Menindee, as well as other areas deemed high-risk in terms of water supply,” assistant commissioner Greentree said.

A Emergency Operations Centre was activated overseen by NSW police, who will be working with other agencies to remove and dispose of the fish, according to a police statement.

“There is no need for community concern as the initial assessment has determined multiple viable solutions to maintain water supply to the Menindee township and surrounds,” deputy commissioner Thurtell said.

“Importantly, there is ongoing testing of the water quality, which will ensure immediate action if a switchover for supply is required,” the officer added.

The mass deaths, which some local media are reporting are in the millions, was attributed to “low dissolved oxygen levels” in the water coupled with a fierce heat wave.

Footage and images show a massive blanket of silvery fish, mainly herring, coating the surface of the river.

Authorities added that state agencies were “continuing targeted releases of higher quality water where possible to boost dissolved oxygen levels in this area” and to prevent further deaths.

The remote town of Menindee, with a population of around 500, suffered a similar event in the Summer months of 2018/19 when millions of fish died during one of the worst droughts in decades in eastern Australia.EFE


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