Millions of dead fish have washed up in a river near a small Australian town, in a phenomenon state officials say is linked to “heatwave conditions” sweeping the country.
Video emerged this week showing masses of dead fish floating in the pool at Menindee Weir near Broken Hill, CNN affiliate 9News Australia reported.
According to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) of New South Wales.
“These fish deaths are linked to low levels of oxygen in the water (hypoxia) as floodwaters recede,” he explained in a statement this week.
“This event is continuing as a heat wave…continues to put additional pressure on a system that has experienced extreme conditions from large-scale flooding,” the DPI said.
“The current hot weather in the region is also exacerbating hypoxia, as warmer water holds less oxygen than cold water and fish have higher oxygen requirements at warmer temperatures,” he said. -he adds.
Heat waves across Australia have become more frequent and intense as climate change worsens and global temperatures continue to rise.
Experts and government agencies have warned that Australia will continue to see spikes in extreme rainfall and heat, as well as more dangerous fires.
Menindee, a rural town in the far west of the state of New South Wales, has a population of around 500, according to census figures.
Sightings of dead fish were also reported this week in the Macquarie Valley, where there are both suburbs and a national park.
This wasn’t the first time Menindee residents had witnessed mass fish kills.
Thousands of dead fish were reported in the region in February and a similar event occurred in the region in 2019.