Millions of dead, decomposing fish have blocked a large part of a river in a remote area of southeastern Australia that has been hit by a severe heat wave, local authorities said Friday.
The New South Wales state government said “millions” of fish died in the Darling River near the village of Menindi, the third large-scale fatality in the area since 2018.
Videos posted on social media showed boats surrounded by dense groups of floating fish that obscured the view of the river’s surface.
Graeme McCrabb, a resident of Menende, told AFP that the scene was “horrific”, pointing out that “there are dead fish in sight”, expressing his fear of dire environmental consequences.
In addition, the local government pointed out that the number of herring and carp fish in the river increased significantly after the recent floods, but the water returned and receded.
“The death of these fish is due to the low level of oxygen in the water (hypoxia), as a result of the receding flood waters,” she said in a statement, adding that the heat wave exacerbates this phenomenon.