Fish Kill Events In NSW Spur Government Recovery Action

Source: The Guardian/Anne Davies

Photo: John Day River/Wikimedia Commons 

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More fish kill events are expected in New South Wales’s inland rivers in coming days as temperatures rise in the state’s west followed by a forecast cool period, the agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has warned.

The federal government has announced a $5m recovery package for the Murray-Darling after up to 1m fish died at Menindee, including 70-year-old Murray cod. The money will be used for cleanups and for fish restocking.

Littleproud has called a meeting of state and federal water ministers and the commonwealth environmental water manager to investigate what can be done to alleviate the crisis facing the river.

The events have raised serious questions about management of the river, after locals repeatedly warned that the low flows through the lower Darling were risking the health of the river and could have major environmental impacts.

They have accused the NSW government of deliberately draining the Menindee Lakes over the past two years and allowing greater extractions by irrigators upstream, leaving a 500km stretch of the river without regular flows.

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Photo: John Day River/Wikimedia Commons

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