Mystery over dead fish in California harbor

March 8th, 2011 in Earth / Environment
Fishermen unload anchovies from a fishing boat in 2004. Californian fishermen and harbor chiefs were puzzled after millions of dead anchovies were found floating in a marina just south of Los Angeles on Tuesday.


Fishermen unload anchovies from a fishing boat in 2004. Californian fishermen and harbor chiefs were puzzled after millions of dead anchovies were found floating in a marina just south of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Californian fishermen and harbor chiefs were puzzled after millions of dead anchovies were found floating in a marina just south of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Experts said the fish, found at a harbor in Redondo Beach, may have from lack of oxygen due to , while locals wondered if high winds overnight might have something to do with it.

"It looks like what happens to when you don’t change the water in the tank, mouth open and belly up," said local official Bill Workman, cited by the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

"There are no visible signs of any toxins that might have caused (the deaths) and our early assessment is that this was oxygen depletion," he said, adding: "There are no oil slicks or leaking of substances into the water."

Locals at Redondo Beach, where the stench from the dead fish hung over King Harbor, suggested that high winds could have driven the fish into the harbor, where their sheer numbers would have reduced the oxygen available.

Experts were cautious. "What we're trying to tease apart is whether it's a consequence of algal buildup, a buildup or something toxic in the water," said David Caron of the University of Southern California.

(c) 2011 AFP

"Mystery over dead fish in California harbor." March 8th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-03-mystery-dead-fish-california-harbor.html