Environmental authorities blamed the mass deaths on low levels of oxygen in Australia’s second-largest river amid elevated temperatures. This is the third mass die-off in the area since 2018.Millions of dead fish have been clogging the Darling River in Australia this week.

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The ABC public broadcaster reported on Saturday that state fisheries officers had been sent to assess the issue.

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Environmental authorities in the state of New South Wales blamed the mass kill on low levels of oxygen in Australia’s second-largest river.

“We are seeing tens of kilometres where there is fish really as far as the eye can see, so it’s quite a confronting scene,” New South Wales government fisheries spokesman Cameron Lay told the ABC.

Footage posted to Twitter by public broadcaster SBS showed a boat navigating through thousands of dead fish covering the river’s surface.

What caused the mass die-off?

The government of Australia’s most populous state said that “millions” of fish had died near the small town of Menindee.

The town is located roughly 1,000 kilometers (roughly 620 miles) west of state capital Sydney.

This is the third mass die-off in the area since 2018.

Recent floods had led to a boom in bony herring and carp populations in the Darling River, with fish now dying off in the aftermath.

“These fish deaths are related to low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia) as flood waters recede,” the New South Wales government said.

“There is a large number of fish deaths (predominantly Bony Herring) in the Darling River between Lake Wetherell and Menindee township,” the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s water division said on Friday.

The agency warned that river oxygen levels could fall over the weekend amid rising temperatures. Cooler temperatures are set to return next week.

Previous fish kills at Menindee had been blamed on a prolonged drought and then a toxic algal bloom.

sdi/msh (Reuters, AFP)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 18, 2023 08:30 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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