Schools of dead fish wash up in Malabar Bay, Sydney, Australia

A BEACH in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has been closed as a precautionary measure after schools of dead fish washed up this morning leaving thousands of carcasses rotting in the warm water.
 
When The Southern Courier inspected Malabar Beach this morning, dead fish were strewn across the sand, rocks and in the ocean pool.
 
The NSW Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed it has collected samples of both the fish and water in response to the scale of the problem.
 
“These will be sent for laboratory testing to determine the cause of death,” a NSW EPA spokeswoman said.
 
UNSW water quality expert Stuart Khan said among the possible explanations was a possible leak from the nearby sewage treatment plant, an illegal dumping or the latest wet weather event.
 
Sydney Water has since confirmed there have been no recent incidents at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
 
“It could be a poison or the result of a build up of organic matter,” Professor Khan said.
 
“If you have a very dry period you get a lot of build up and then a big weather event washes all that organic matter into the stormwater network,” he said.
 
Subsequent warmer weather then leads to biodegradation which causes oxygen depletion in the water.
 
“It’s called a black water event,” he said.
 
“We’ve had the perfect circumstances for that event. It’s a well known phenomenon in rivers but it’s not so common in a marine environment — but Malabar is unusual as it’s a very enclosed bay.”
Courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au

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