9 April 2013
Pathology results on samples of dead fish have indicated prolonged stress and gill irritation consistent with unusually high water temperatures and possible harmful algae.
Although water testing is ongoing, no known toxic algae have been identified to date. However a diatom, Chaetoceros, has been observed in samples. This species of algae causes harm to fish through abrasion and is a well known cause of fish kills around the world.
The good news is that this type of algae is not harmful to humans, so there is no danger in fishers continuing to catch live fish and eat them when cooked.
Scientific experts are working hard to get to the bottom of the recent spate of fish and marine animal deaths along the State’s coastline.
Biosecurity SA officers have been testing dead fish from when they were first reported washed up on our beaches in March.
This started with small leatherjackets at Port Neill on the Eyre Peninsula followed with other small fish species along the metropolitan coast line in the following week.
For the latest information go to the fish mortalities response page.