Mysterious Mass Deaths Along Brisbane River: Kangaroo Point’s Perplexing Enigma

Kangaroo Point
Photo Credit: Mark Stewart/Google Maps

Hundreds of dead fish and crustaceans have mysteriously appeared along the banks of the Brisbane River, prompting concerns among residents and fish experts. This unsettling phenomenon was observed at various locations, including Kangaroo Pont, Milton, West End and Indooroopilly, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the river’s health.

Whilst government officials initially suggested alternative causes, renowned fish expert and University of Queensland associate professor Ian Tibbetts has raised concerns of a toxic spill as the more probable culprit. 

Despite recent heavy rainfall and subsequent freshwater spillovers, the deceased species, which include mullet, bream, catfish, and even some mud crabs, are known for their resilience to freshwater conditions. 

Professor Tibbetts emphasised, however, that this incident is “not directly related to the recent flooding.” This revelation has intensified worries about localised contamination or a toxic event in the area.

Passers-by and residents were the first to encounter this perplexing spectacle on Thursday 1 Feb 2024, as dead fish and crustaceans were found stranded amidst rocks and in the river waters. The incident has been reported to the authorities. The Department of Environment, Science, and Innovation is actively investigating these reports.

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They suspect low dissolved oxygen levels due to recent heavy rain, possibly washing organic matter into the Brisbane River, as a potential cause for the deaths. However, the investigation is ongoing, leaving the mystery of the mass deaths unresolved for now.

In light of these events, authorities advise residents and fishers to exercise caution and avoid touching or consuming any of the deceased animals found along the riverbanks.

Published 6-Feb-2024