Fisheries investigating mass deaths of starfish at South Beach

Picture: Holly Brown/ Facebook
Picture: Holly Brown/ Facebook

AN investigation is underway into the death of about 200 starfish found between South Beach and CY O’Connor Beach in North Coogee.

In a statement this morning, the Department of Fisheries said it had been investigating a “marine fish kill event” since Monday.

“Following a report of 100-1000 dead starfish at South Beach on Monday, Fisheries and marine officers visited South Beach and nearby beaches on Monday and Tuesday to assess the situation and collect samples,” the Department said.

“Less than 200 dead starfish were observed.”

No other dead aquatic animals have been reported or sighted.

Samples have been sent to the department’s Fish Health unit for analysis but it is unclear when the results will be returned.

The Department said it would continue to monitor the area over the coming days.

It asked people not to handle dead starfish.

Fish kills should be reported to the FishWatch hotline on 1800 815 507.

Department of Health advice

– Do not swim in water with large numbers of dead and decomposing fish because they may contain high levels of bacteria and a bad odour.

– Do not collect or consume fish from the waters near a fish kill.

– Do not use dead fish for bait or consumption because of the risk of high levels of bacteria.

= Do not let pets and other animals come into contact with dead or decomposing fish in the water or on shore.