“It’s horrible”: millions of fish killed by intense heat wave block an Australian river

Millions of dead and increasingly rotten fish block a stretch of river in a remote town in the Australian outback, a country experiencing an intense heat wave.

Videos posted on social media show boats making their way through a sea of ​​dead fish that almost completely covers the river surface.

Look at the video

The government of the region New south Wales It said Friday that “millions” of fish died in the Darling River near the town of Menindee, marking the third such event in the area since 2018.

“It’s horrible, really. There are dead fish as far as the eye can see,” Menindee resident Graeme McCrabb told AFP.

“Hot weather” generates hypoxia

The river fish population has skyrocketed due to recent flooding, but they are now dying from “low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia) as the water level recedes,” the local government said.

“The current warm weather in the region exacerbates hypoxia, as warm water contains less oxygen than cold water. Fish need more oxygen at higher temperatures,” he added.

Previous episodes of massive fish kills in the town have been blamed on a lack of water due to drought and toxic algae blooms.

Regional fisheries department spokesman Cameron Lay said it was “shocking” to see dozens of kilometers of the river littered with dead fish.