Science panel says poor management to blame for fish kills

A scientific panel has found that those managing the Murray-Darling rver system are responsible for recent fish kills in the Darling River, NSW.

A SCIENTIFIC panel investigating the causes of three mass fish deaths at the Menindee lakes in NSW has pointed the finger squarely at those managing the Murray-Darling river system.

Up to one million native fish, including hundreds of thousands of small bony bream, Murray cod, up to 20 years old, and silver perch were killed in the three events. According to an article in The Guardian, a report commissioned by Opposition leader Billl Shorten found that while there had been other fish kills during droughts, these were on an unprecedented scale.

“The conditions leading to this event are an interaction between a severe (but not unprecedented) drought and, more significantly, excess upstream diversion of water for irrigation,” the panel of scientists convened by the Academy of Science said. “Prior releases of water from Menindee Lakes contributed to lack of local reserves.”

Unless urgent steps are taken to restore flows in the Darling, Prof Craig Moritz, who chaired the panel, warned: “The Darling will die.”

The panel has called for an immediate effort over the next six months to restore flows, combined with a Menindee Lakes restoration plan focused on restoring its ecology, not saving water, as NSW hopes to do with its Menindee Lakes water saving plan.

You can read the full article HERE.

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