Up to a million fish have died in an Australian river in "an ecological catastrophe on an international scale".
Critically endangered Murray cod, some up to 100-years-old, were among the fish carcasses to line the Darling River in New South Wales (NSW) this week.
There were three other mass fish deaths around the Christmas period in the same region, which is a key breeding area for endangered fish species.
Algal blooms, which can be caused by agricultural chemicals, have been blamed for the deaths, but locals say corruption and greed are the reasons.
A video of people holding up the dead fish from the latest incident has gone viral as local farmers and the community blame the state government's mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Dick Arnold and Rob McBride held up two massive fish as they accused the government and cotton growers for the "man made environmental disaster" which they said made them feel like crying.
Mr McBride said: "This is nothing to do with drought, this is a man-made disaster.
"This is the result of draining the Menindee Lakes twice in four years, killing the system."
He added that 250,000 livestock and millions of native animals are at risk from the increasingly toxic river water.
His daughter, Kate McBride, who is also a farmer, added: "They have survived that many droughts, and the highs and lows of it all, but the one thing they haven't been able to survive is this mismanagement."
Niall Blair, NSW's fisheries and regional water minister, blamed the deaths on drought.
"Unfortunately this is the sort of thing we do see during drought," he said.
"We're looking at the operating rules around the Menindee Lakes and what we can do."
He was accused of ignoring locals after he sped past a group waiting for him on a boat with a police escort, but said he met others.
Upriver the basin is about 20% full but in the lower Darling River levels are as low as 5%, a spokeswoman for the Murray Darling Basin Authority said.
The state's independent MP, Jeremy Buckingham, travelled to the area after the farmers' video went viral, and said he vomited when he saw the scale of the deaths.
"The huge extraction of water for big irrigators is literally choking the life out of the system downriver and leaving stagnant, blue-green algae infested dregs for everyone else," he said.
"It is an ecological catastrophe on an international scale."
Richard Kingsford, director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of NSW, said the latest incident probably "killed up to a million fish".
He said the lakes being drained make such disasters more likely.
"It's a classic example of nature biting back," he said.
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