Murray Cod Australia says no effect from Darling River fish deaths

James Marshall
January 11, 2019

"This mass fish kill be a wake-up call for Australia that we need to get out of a broken loop on water policy and that fundamentally adequate water must be prioritised for the environment before being allocated to large-scale irrigation", Mr Buckingham said as he left for Broken Hill after visiting the dead fish zones on Wednesday.

It's a serious issue: mass fish deaths in the Darling River at Menindee.

He then dry retches and walks off camera.

"It's a national disgrace, this once magnificent Murray cod is dead, and it absolutely stinks".

"It was one of the most disgusting experiences of my life. I felt so sick that I panicked and jumped in the river to escape it - as bad as it is!" he explained.

Back in Sydney, NSW Labor upped the political ante on Thursday, a day after Minister Blair made a visit to Menindee, interrupted in part by local protesters demanding more water to help flush out the blue-green algal blooms that triggered the die-off.

But Mr Blair insists no one is getting water because of the prolonged drought.

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

Federal and state officials rejected the claims of mismanagement and said drought was to blame for the disaster, the Morning Herald writes.

"We're looking at the operating rules around the Menindee Lakes and what we can do".

"Mature fish that survived decades of droughts could not survive the Liberal-Nationals' water policy", Mr Daley said.

"It has everything to do with the total mismanagement and corruption of the water system", Mr McBride told AAP on Wednesday.

Mr Buckingham was standing on the side of the river with local farmers Dick Arnold and Rob McBride, brandishing the rotting carcass of a native, critically endangered Murray cod to highlight the environmental emergency when the smell became all too much.

"They are rotting, they're large corpses, they're bloated in the water".

The Menindee Lakes, which are about four times the size of Sydney Harbour, were drained twice in four years and are sitting at between 2.6 per cent and 4 per cent capacity, he said.

A massive fish kill has left hundreds of thousands of bream, Murray cod and perch dead in a 25-mile stretch of the Darling River in southeastern Australia.

Arnold says members of the government "have to be bloody disgusted with yourself, politicians and cotton grower manipulators".

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

Upriver the basin is about 20% full but in the lower Darling River levels are as low as 5%, a spokeswoman for the Murray Darling Basin Authority said. "Sadly, it is entirely predictable for those of us that have been warning about the raft of problems plaguing the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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