Australia: a river overwhelmed with millions of dead fish, amidst a heatwave?

The Darling River, located in southeastern Australia, is literally clogged with millions of fish carcasses.

Millions of fish were found dead in an Australian river near the village of Menindee on March 17th, 2023. (HANDOUT / COURTESY OF GRAEME MCCRABB / AFP).

There are millions of them. Dead fish decomposing have blocked a large part of the Darling River in southeastern Australia, near the village of Menindee, affected by a strong heat wave, local authorities said on Friday, March 17th.


According to the government of the state of New South Wales, populations of herring and carp have significantly increased in the river following recent flooding. However since then, the water has receded. “The death of these fish is linked to low oxygen levels in the water (hypoxia), as floodwaters recede,” said the authority, adding that the heatwave is exacerbating this phenomenon. This is the third mass extinction in the area since 2018, according to this source.
Videos shared on social media have shown boats in the middle of thick banks of floating fish, with the surface of the water almost invisible. This was seen in a video posted by Sara Tomevska, a journalist for the Australian media outlet SBS News.

Graeme McCrabb, a resident of Menindee, told the AFP that it was truly horrible and there were dead fish as far as the eye could see, speaking of “incommensurable” environmental consequences.