Investigations into unusual fish behaviour in Cockburn Sound

A photo of the Rockingham fish kill Art H sent to the Bell Tower Times on Twitter.
A photo of the Rockingham fish kill Art H sent to the Bell Tower Times on Twitter.

THE Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is investigating two unusual fish behaviour incidents in the Cockburn Sound.

Fisheries officers were called to Woodman Point late last week after a number of public reports described pilchard-like fish were “leaping out of the water”.

Water samples have been sent to the department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s phytoplankton ecology unit.

Their investigations stemmed further south on Friday after more than 100 starfish washed ashore on Kwinana’s Challenger Beach on Friday morning.

The incidents came just days after more than 1000 dead scaly mackerel washed ashore in Rockingham, with subsequent investigations unable to find anything that could have caused the fish kill.

DPIRD Fisheries and Agriculture Resource Management executive director Rick Fletcher said officers were continuing to monitor the beaches.

“The key advice around any fish kill is that you do not touch the affected fish or the water in their vicinity, or collect any fish for samples or use the dead fish as bait,” he said.

“It’s also important not to consume any fish that have been caught in the area of the fish kill.

“We urge members of the public to be watchful and report any fish kill they see to our special FishWatch reporting line on 1800 815 507.”