The catastrophic fish kill on the Darling River

The catastrophic fish kill on the Darling River– decades in the making

The how and the why.

The plight of the Darling River shocked the nation last week, when up to a million fish were killed by lack of oxygen, accompanying the disruption of a blue-green algal bloom on a forty kilometre stretch of the river near Menindee, southeast of Broken Hill. This followed a similar kill of tens of thousands of native fish in December.

Blue green algae blooms have inexorably extended their grip along the river. With the death of the algae blooms and mobilisation of oxygen depleted waters from the river bottom, fish were unable to exchange sufficient oxygen across their gills.  

The question people are asking is was this avoidable? And more importantly, is this avoidable in the future?

Professor Kingsford explores these questions

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