Thousands of dead fish found, ‘causing shock’ in a billabong near Darwin, Australia
Screen shot from a video posted by croc wrangler Matt Wright of thousands of dead fish in a shallow river
THE sight of thousands of dead fish and just as many crocs eating them has stopped Outback Wrangler Matt Wright in his tracks.
While flying his helicopter around the Finniss River on Friday afternoon, Mr Wright caught sight of a sea of barra belly-up in a billabong.
He said it was unusual for a fish kill-off to occur at this time of year — and the first time he’d seen anything like it.
“It was crazy, usually you see it when it’s the run off (end of the wet season) and it’s deoxygenated the water,” he said.
“I think these guys have been cooked. We’ve been getting pretty cold nights and the days are hot and the billabong has silted up and the billabong has overheated.”
He said he’d never seen so many dead barra in one spot at this time of year.
“There were about the same amount of crocs having a feast as there were dead fish. There were thousands of them there,” he said.
While he forgot to check if any of the fish had an elusive $1 Million Dollar Barra tag, he said the amount of dead fish was a massive waste.
“You just think about all the waste — there’s just so many dead fish there it’s unbelievable. It stunk too, it smelled like a rotten fish market,” he said. “You see a lot of stuff flying around but that one was definitely something that I didn’t expect.”
A Primary Industry Department spokeswoman could not confirm the cause of the death, but said there were a number of causes for fish kills including environmental factors that cause low oxygen levels in water, toxicants, pollutants, and aquatic diseases.
“Most of the fish kills in the Top End are natural and the result of low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water,” the spokeswoman said.
“Fish kills can occur throughout the year in the Top End but are more common during the build-up and early Wet.”
Courtesy of ntnews.com.au