020 7587 3070

Mass fish deaths in Australia blamed on farming practices and climate change

Mass fish deaths in Australia blamed on farming practices and climate change

Australia is to take drastic action after over a million fish found have been found dead in lakes and rivers.

  The main factor thought to have caused a million plus fish to die in a river in Australia is the hot dry weather conditions, which has triggered drought in New South Wales amongst other locations.

   Amid these dry conditions, large algal flowers have drawn the oxygen out of the water, eliminating all the fish in stretches of the Darling River.

   Tides of dead fish are now lining the banks where they are rotting quickly in record breaking temperature levels which have seen parts of New South Wales dealing with a whole week over 40C, and highs of 46C in the area where the fish passed away.

   A clean-up operation is underway, but water experts have warned that more fish are most likely to die as the heatwave conditions continue.

   Critics of the regional federal government argue the impacts of the drought have been considerably worsened by management choices at the river basin, where numerous locks and dams control the circulation of water through the river. Irrigation systems also draw water from the river for agricultural usage.

   In response to the crisis, the New South Wales government has said it is planning to mechanically pump oxygen into lakes and rivers with solar-powered aerators.

   Minister for local water, Niall Blair, conceded the aerators are a quick-fix for a bigger issue.

   “Nothing will stop this fish kill unless we get proper river flows and water levels in our dams back up to normal. We are doing everything we can to try and limit the damage”.

   “They are a Band-Aid solution for now – we admit that” Mr Blair said.

   However what has been uncovered during this crisis is that the New South Wales government slashed the budget for the river management system by 60 per cent in 2013.

   The basin-wide program kept track of the health of fish in the river and consisted of a long term strategy with an objective of bringing back fish-stocks to 60 percent of what it was before the arrival of Europeans on the continent, according to one source.

   Since the cuts, the native fish strategy has actually been abandoned, regular maintenance has been put on the back burner and audits of the environment have actually not been completed.

   It was especially sad to find that Murray cod at least 70 years of ages are among the native types which have died.

   The New South Wales opposition federal government has said it will set up a “Special Commission of Enquiry” – the equivalent of a Royal Commission here in the UK — to analyse what occurred and make sure this cannot happen again in future.

   Expert opinion from the Australian National University said that irrigation of crops had certainly played a part in this unfortunate situation, and that it was one that could easily have been foreseen.

   The removal of water from the system for irrigation had actually most likely added to the bad water quality in rivers as well as the dry spell which is impacting most of New South Wales.

   When water is taken from the system you end up with much hotter water and “you produce conditions that are far more conducive to algal blooms” said one researcher.

   Sad as this incident is, we hope that at least it leads to more careful stewardship of important fish environments and habitats, and more careful consideration of the impact of man-made decisions on the overall ecological balance of an area.

PUBLISHED: February 20, 2019

Proper Fish & Chips being trialed on the menu at McDonalds

Move over Fillet of Fish! McDonalds are trialing traditional fish and chips on the menus in Canada and Singapore and feedback so far is good.

PUBLISHED: June 5, 2019

John Shows His Fish Preparation Skills

PUBLISHED: February 18, 2020

The Rising Tide of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

With the current trend towards veganism gathering more and more pace it is important to be clear about some of the health issues around it as many people are proving to be deficient in some key nutrients.

PUBLISHED: February 4, 2020

The Growing Trend of Vegan Fish

As the world looks for more and more plant based food options, manufacturers and chefs have been looking at some increasingly creative ways of serving up "faux fish"

PUBLISHED: December 10, 2019

Portuguese Man-of-War Hit The UK

Dozens of poisonous Man-of-War jellyfish have recently been found on a number of beaches in Devon and Cornwall. This is very unusual in the UK.

PUBLISHED: December 9, 2019

Mixing Up The Christmas Menu – Delicious Seasonal Alternatives

As Christmas approaches there are usually options for pescatarians on most festive menus but can we make things more interesting?

PUBLISHED: November 21, 2019

The Politics Of Fish Supply

The global nature and effect of the fishing industry can sometimes be forgotten but they can have an influence on supply and price.

PUBLISHED: November 21, 2019

Things To know When Planning For Christmas

As Christmas approaches it is time to think about Festive Menu Planning and ordering some of the most popular fish for your seasonal menus

PUBLISHED: November 21, 2019

DEBRA Glacier Trek Update

DEBRA Glacier Trek Update

PUBLISHED: October 2, 2019

Cod Scarcity? Or Codswallop?

Cod is often in the news and usually with tails of feast or famine. But what is the truth behind the trend?

PUBLISHED: September 22, 2019

What’s Good In Autumn?

Fish news and advice for the autumn season

PUBLISHED: September 16, 2019

Fish In The News – Funny and Surprising Seafood Stories

Some fantastic fish news stories from across the globe involving Wales, North Korea and the Royal Family!

PUBLISHED: July 24, 2019

Norwegian Salmon Farm Disaster

Trouble in the salmon farms of Norway, where heat-induced algae growth killed over 8 million salmon in a week

PUBLISHED: July 24, 2019

Your Guide To Seafood Festivals In England & Wales

PUBLISHED: July 13, 2018

“Large or small Jellyfish chips with that?”

Jellyfish chips could soon be on the menu as eating trends will increasingly shift towards insects and other nutritionally-rich “last-resort” food sources.

PUBLISHED: June 5, 2019

Paschal’s Glacier Trek for Charity

Paschal Tiernan of James Knight of Mayfair joins some food industry figures for a high altitude trek for a very good cause

PUBLISHED: April 9, 2019

The Moroccan Octopus Smuggling Ring

James Knight of Mayfair is the secret weapon of many of London’s finest Japanese restaurants

PUBLISHED: April 9, 2019

Our New HDPE Packaging

PUBLISHED: January 22, 2019

Record Price Paid For Blue Fin Tuna Fish in Japan

PUBLISHED: January 22, 2019

Help With Choosing The Healthiest Fish

Struggling with a diet or detox? Read about which fish species have the lowest calorie and fat content.

PUBLISHED: July 23, 2018

Fears Are Raised At International Conference That A Generation Will Never Cook Fresh Fish At Home Again

In the 1950’s there were 50,000 high street fishmongers in the UK; now there are less than 1,000, mainly limited to wealthy areas. Many people have no access – or have to travel a long way - to buy genuinely fresh fish. We are going to reach a point where the only opportunity to eat fresh fish will be in a restaurant

PUBLISHED: July 23, 2018

The Perks Of A Royal Warrant Holder

As a holder of as many as two Royal Warrants, James Knight of Mayfair often attend events celebrating the best of British produce and innovation.

PUBLISHED: July 23, 2018

Planning Your Menu For Q1 In The New Year? Try Skrei Cod…

Our sales team are big fans of the fantastic Skrei cod

PUBLISHED: February 3, 2022

Special Feature – Eels In Schools

As major sponsors of the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards, we take the highest achievers from the competition away on a fishing themed trip every year.
Paschal Tiernan from James Knight of Mayfair looks back at a past visit to the wonderful Severn & Wye Smokery in Gloucestershire for two days of fun and education.

PUBLISHED: July 23, 2018

James Knight Of Mayfair – London’s Secret Sashimi Supplier

James Knight of Mayfair is the secret weapon of many of London’s finest Japanese restaurants

PUBLISHED: July 23, 2018

© James Knight of Mayfair Ltd.

Registered Office:
135-138 Newport Street,
Vauxhall, London SE11 6AQ

Company Registration Number:
Registered in England 3618 336

VAT number: 8024917 45