South Australia news: Dead sharks, stingrays and fish wash up in large numbers on popular beach

A large number of marine animals including sharks, salmon and stingrays have been found dead on a popular beach with the recent weather the likely culprit behind the carnage.

The animals started washing up along Eight Mile Creek Beach on South Australia’s south east coast on Monday with heavy rainfall and a rapid fall in ocean water salinity the likely cause of the deaths.

Among the species found so far are wobbegong and Port Jackson sharks, snapper, Australian salmon, stingrays, crabs, sea urchins, sea slugs, crayfish and ling fish.

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) senior biosecurity adviser Chloe McSkimming told the ABC that heavy rainfall run-off from Eight Mile Creek emptying freshwater into the ocean is at the top of the list of causes, but investigations are still ongoing.

“At the moment, most of the species involved seem to be associated with rocky reef systems,” she said.

“They’re species that don’t tend to move very far and stick to one location.

“So far no algal, including harmful or toxic species, have been observed in water samples.

“We’ve also collected samples to rule out aquatic animal disease and these results are still pending.”

There is no official count on the number of dead creatures, though estimates have the total at more than 60.

Ms McSkimming said more were expected in the coming days.

“With increased rain you do get increased run-off from freshwater inputs into the marine environment,” she said.

“It is an unfortunate event but with these types of scenarios it can be a natural phenomenon.”

Eight Mile Creek Beach is a popular strip of the state’s Limestone Coast especially with campers.

If people notice something unusual involving dead or dying fish along any waterways or the coast they can call FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522

Read related topics:Weather

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