Drought Largely Responsible For Darling River Fish Kill

Drought Largely Responsible For Darling River Fish Kill

New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair

Recovery Underway Following Fish Kill

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair visited Menindee today and committed the New South Wales Government to helping the Menindee community and the ecosystem in Western New South Wales recover as quickly as possible following a major fish kill in the Darling River.

Minister Blair met with locals, Central Darling Shire Council, Wentworth Shire Council and experts from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries and WaterNSW.

“It’s devastating to see the hundreds of thousands of fish killed earlier this week and we believe this is one of the largest fish kills ever seen.” Minister Blair said.

“We realise the clean-up from this event is significant and we will provide whatever help we can to the local communities.”

Minister Blair requested that DPI and WaterNSW prepare an urgent report on the fish kill and clean up, which will be publicly available and asked DPI to begin preparing for the recovery of the fish stocks when conditions improve.

Each year DPI breeds up to 1 Million Golden Perch and 400,000 Murray Cod, which are released into our river systems. Restocking fish will be critical in this area.

WaterNSW will deliver water to support the feeding, breeding, and movement needs of these native fish species when more water is available in the Darling River.

Minister Blair said WaterNSW is continuing to monitor water quality throughout the dams and river systems as the drought continues across the Murray-Darling Basin.

“We really need significant rain to generate replenishment flows otherwise these impacts will persist and possibly increase throughout summer.” Minister Blair said.

“You can’t dismiss the impact of drought when in the last 6 months, we have had 30 gigalitres of water flow in the Northern System, while in an average year we would expect 4,000 gigalitres. The numbers speak for themselves.”

“This is a devastating ecological event and we must address the impacts and recovery with facts and evidence rather than political scaremongering.” Minister Blair said.

 

Abbreviations:

NSW               New South Wales