Cockburn Sound fish deaths investigated


A dead fish in Cockburn Sound. Picture: Recfishwest Facebook
A dead fish in Cockburn Sound. Picture: Recfishwest Facebook

FISHERIES and Marine Officers have been responding to reports of fish deaths around Cockburn Sound since Thursday in an effort to discover the extent of recent fish kills in the area.

The Department of Fisheries has investigated reports from the public about dead fish in a number of locations, including Garden Island and other locations in the Rockingham and Kwinana area.

On Saturday, officers conducted a survey of the island, where they counted about 600 dead fish between the Causeway and Careening Bay.

Officers also discovered about 100 dead fish, from a range of species, at Challenger Beach on Friday afternoon.

Aquatic Environment general manager Rae Burrows said the samples of fish and water would need to be assessed, but results from laboratory checks at the department’s Fish Health unit, were not expected until later this week.

“The water samples will also have to be sent away for analysis and research staff will need to sort through the collected fish samples, some of which are quite degraded, to see if there is enough suitable tissue to run the tests required to establish the cause of the fish deaths,” Ms Burrows said.

“We appreciate the help from those people who have called the FISHWATCH reporting line in the last few days, with sightings of dead fish. The public involvement is a very important part of the department’s Fish Kill response program.

“The earlier we hear about fish kill events, the better chance we have of taking suitable samples that will help us establish what the cause might be.”

A significant fish kill was last reported in the same waters in February 2014, the cause of which was inconclusive at the time.

You can report fish kills to FISHWATCH on 1800 815 507.