Murray Cod Australia says no effect from Darling River fish deaths

  • Murray Cod Australia says no effect from Darling River fish deaths

Murray Cod Australia says no effect from Darling River fish deaths

For too long, politicians have shifted blame from one another and pretended they can fix the policy without the fundamental issue of returning more water to our natural waterways and wetlands.

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".

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.

"We have spent billions trying to save the Murray Darling Basin and what have we got?"

"In fact, numerous fish kills occurred in the lower Darling and Menindee Lakes in the period 2002- 2004 during the Millennium drought", he said, citing Lake Pamamaroo which dried out in December 2002, three separate fish kill events in August 2003 on the Darling including at Menindee and one upstream of Pooncarie in February 2004 involving hundreds of Murray Cod.

"What has happened is as a result of the drought and no water flowing into the rivers", he told local media. "Without more water available to flow through the system, it is possible more fish will die during summer".

"The scale of this disaster is extraordinary and unprecedented". "We can not be indifferent to the ecological impact and the effect on local residents who live along the river".

The immediate cause of the mass fish kill is believed to be a sudden drop in temperature that killed algal blooms in the water, depleting it of oxygen and causing fish to die. "You would blow up the [Murray-Darling Basin] Plan".

But it is former Green now independent MP Jeremy Buckingham's hilarious reaction during a Facebook video that is drawing all the attention, for the wrong reasons.

"It's taking too much water. the fish kills point to our failure with the current implementation of the basin plan", he said.

Michael Murray, general manager of Cotton Australia, sought to counter criticism of irrigators and his industry for the plight at Menindee, say the state's cotton output would halve this year.

Residents are pointing the finger at state and federal governments for draining too much water from the Menindee Lakes and over-allocating the precious resource to irrigators.

In it, Menindee locals Rob McBride and Dick Arnold, stand knee deep in the putrid water of the Darling holding two Murray cod they say are many years old and would have survived many previous droughts. But, as an industry, we are growing very exhausted of being "the whipping boy" for all the problems that are being brought on by this crippling drought.