Hundreds of Thousands of Fish Killed in Australian River

Hundreds of Thousands of Fish Killed in Australian River

"The huge extraction of water for big irrigators is literally choking the life out of the system downriver and leaving stagnant, blue-green algae infested dregs for everyone else", he said.

"In droughts, rivers are the last resort for so much of our wildlife", Professor Kingsford said.

Her comments come a day after the minister for primary industries and water, Niall Blair, was criticised for bypassing a large gathering of people waiting to ask him questions on a visit to Menindee.

Labor leader Michael Daley called for a special commission of inquiry into the "ecological catastrophe" at Menindee.

Mr McBride features in a viral Facebook video where he's standing in the Darling River alongside Dick Arnold holding dead fish.

In a video that has been viewed almost 4 million times, Menindee resident Dick Arnold and rancher Rob McBride say the fish kills are "a manmade disaster".

"We have spent billions trying to save the Murray Darling Basin and what have we got?"

"You can not dismiss the fact there is a drought and a lack of water".

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"What has happened is as a result of the drought and no water flowing into the rivers", he told local media. The dying algae worsened already low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, pushing many fish beyond their tolerance levels.

Such a move, part of the Sustainable Diversion Limits projects, would "further reduce water flows in the lower Darling River and destroy fish breeding grounds in the Darling River", Labor said, adding it had "committed to abandon this plan to prevent further ecological destruction".

"Coupled with the extensive drought and the simple fact there has been little-to-no rain, the release of water from the lakes has exacerbated the conditions leading to these fish deaths".

"Further upstream at Dirranbandi (home of Cubbie Cotton), just 300 hectares of cotton has been planted, which is 1 per cent of what can be planted in a very good season".

While the State and Federal governments have blamed the increase in algal bloom events on the drought, furious locals say it's the mismanagement and draining of the lakes by the Murray Darling Basin Authority that is to blame.

"Cotton Australia is very proud of our industry that produces a quality fibre that is in demand both here at home and around the world; but as an industry we are growing very exhausted of being "the whipping boy" for all the problems that are being brought on by this crippling drought".

The iconic Aussie fish is in the headlines right now after a video surfaced showing angry farmers hauling dead "century-old" Murray cod out of the Darling River, calling it an Australian environmental "disaster".

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