Thousands of fish have died in the third mass death in an Australian river in the last few weeks.
Local officials are blaming the die-off on a recent drought, but critics say that the incidents need to be more attributed to water mismanagement. The Darling River has been subjected to several die-offs recently, including hundreds of thousands of fish in January and December combined.
It is believed that hot weather has prompted algae to bloom in the river, however colder overnight temperature kill off the algae, starving the water of oxygen. Menindee Regional Tourist Association president Rob Gregory, who operates river cruises, said governments had allowed farmers to take too much water from the river to irrigate over the last four years.
“Now we’ve got no reserve to flush the system and we’ve seen depleted oxygen due to blue-green algal bloom and this is the end result,” Gregory said, “This is probably the last fish kill we’ll have because there’s nothing left to kill.”