Millions of dead fish appeared floating on the surface of the Darling River in the city of Menindee, in the Australian state of New South Wales, local media reported this Sunday.
Australia’s Department of Primary Industries said the fish die-off was possibly caused by low oxygen levels in the water due to high temperatures, which reached around 40 degrees Celsius. Richard Kingsford, a professor at the University of New South Wales, points out that the lack of rain caused by climate change is compounded by the excessive use of water for agriculture, as happened in 2018.
The Menindee Emergency Operations Centre, supervised by the NSW Police, will be tasked with other state agencies to remove and dispose of the dead fish, with the aim of maintaining a clean water supply to the city and its surroundings. “Most importantly, there is ongoing testing of the water quality, which will ensure immediate action if a change of supply is required,” said NSW Emergency Operations Controller Peter Thurtell.