Earth’s oceans might be humanity’s most precious resources. They also happen to be some of the most abused natural resources of all time. As such, mass deaths and intense stretches of polluted water are commons sights.
Still, nothing quite heralds an environmental disaster quite like thousands of dead fish washing ashore. But that’s exactly what happened in the small Australian town of Wickham, and people are growing concerned for their safety.
This was the scene last week when officials came upon the mass fish death.
It was first discovered by a local resident walking on the beach. After officials were alerted, they estimated that the death toll was somewhere around 4,000. However, that number could be substantially higher since these are just the bodies that washed ashore.
“We do occasionally get reports of small fish kills, but certainly there has been nothing major in the area,” said Peter Godfrey, the Australian Department of Fisheries northern region manager.
While there was no immediately apparent cause for the situation, Godfrey and his team collected samples of the dead fish for testing.
“It could be some sort of fish disease or it could be environmental factors, such as an algal bloom, or hot water conditions, or stranding by the tides,” added Godfrey.
(via 9 News)
Until officials know more, locals have been advised to stay away from the area and avoid eating any fish.