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Thousands of fish die in third mass death in Australian river

  • 28 Jan 2019

Local officials blame the mass deaths on drought but critics say the issue at least partly stems from water mismanagement.

This image made from a video taken on January 7, 2019, shows dead fish along the Darling River bank in Menindee, New South Wales, Australia. ( AP Archive )

Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in the third mass kill on a stretch of a major Australian river in recent weeks that local officials blame on drought but critics say at least partly stems from water mismanagement.

The latest deaths began Sunday night in the Darling River near the township of Menindee in western New South Wales state. 

That's the same area where hundreds of thousands of fish were found floating dead in early January and shortly before Christmas.

The suspected cause is hot weather leading to an algal bloom that has starved the water of oxygen.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian blamed an extended drought. 

But Menindee Regional Tourist Association president Rob Gregory says officials let farmers take too much water for irrigation.

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