levels of oxygen in Australia's second-longest river are to
blame for the mass fish death late last week near the town of
Menindee in New South Wales state, around 1,000 km (620 miles)
west of the state capital Sydney, environmental authorities
It follows fish deaths in the same area in 2018 and 2019 where
up to a million fish died from poor water flow, poor water
quality, and sudden temperature changes.
"Other than rainwater ... we 100 percent rely on that river for
our household domestic use," Karen Page, a Menindee resident,
told state broadcaster ABC.
"As soon as they've seen what was happening, they should've had
that equipment here. They should've already been cleaning this
New South Wales Police said late on Sunday that an emergency
operations centre was being set up in Menindee to coordinate the
disposal of the decomposing fish and to organise the supply of
Joy Becker, a professor of aquatic animal health at the
University of Sydney, said it would take a significant amount of
time for the river's ecosystem to recover.
"It does mean that those populations (of fish) may not rebound
as quickly or at the same magnitude," she said.
"Pest species can actually just take over that spot, which makes
it even harder for native fish to recover."
(Reporting by James Redmayne in Sydney; Writing by Alasdair Pal;
Editing by Stephen Coates)
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