Archive | February 18, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 3326 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 20:47:05.8 2015-02-18
3461 km SE of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 19:47:05.8 2015-02-18
4247 km SE of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 19:47:05.8 2015-02-18

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Thousands of dead jellyfish wash up on Redcliffe Peninsula, Australia

Thousands of jellyfish wash up onto the beach at Bells Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula.
Thousands of jellyfish wash up onto the beach at Bells Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Photo: Andrew SaltmarshThousands of jellyfish have washed up on Bells Beach north of Brisbane, creating a spectacular vision of Mother Nature in action.

Redcliffe local and keen photographer Andrew Saltmarsh snapped these images on Friday afternoon after stopping at Pelican Park at Clontarf on his way home from work.

“After a few minutes I noticed that it smelled a bit more like the ocean than usual and when I looked down beyond the rock wall I just saw thousands and thousands of the blue blubber jellyfish stretching all the way down the beach,” he said.

 Thousands of jellyfish wash up onto the beach at Bells Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula.
Thousands of jellyfish wash up onto the beach at Bells Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Photo: Andrew Saltmarsh

“There were just as many of them still in the water rolling up onto the shore or just bobbing around in the shallows. They all looked pretty much dead.”

The blue blubber, or catostylus mosaicus, is the most common species of jellyfish found along Queensland’s coastline. It gets its colour from algae plant cells present in its body, which photosynthesise, allowing it to convert energy that the jellyfish can use.

Swarms of blue blubbers have been cropping up around the South East Queensland coast in recent months as part of a regular cycle of population boom and bust.

The blobby creatures are not dangerous but present in such large numbers can make for an unpleasant time in the water.

Bells Beach is a popular spot for swimming, kite-surfing and jet-skiing.

Mr Saltmarsh said it was an astonishing sight.

“They’re so thick on the sand, you could lie down in them and make jellyfish angels,” he said.

Courtesy of Brisbane Times

Hundreds of dead fish appear in canals in Padre Island, Texas, America

Fish Kill Alert

Dead fish have been floating to the surface of local waters this past week, leaving Padre Island residents wondering what caused their deaths.

3News was alerted to the situation Thursday and called out to a canal located off the 13000 block of SPID on Padre Island. According to the Parks and Wildlife Department, the dead fish are associated with the cold weather.

Parks and Wildlife said the fish had likely died during the most recent cold snap, and as water temperatures rose this past weekend, the fish began floating to the surface. The also said that there have been instance of the fish showing up in Rockport as well, but none of their deaths are associated with an algal bloom or other harmful bacteria in the water.

Courtesy of Kiii News

22,573 birds killed due to Avian Flu in 7 states across Nigeria

Bird Flu

A total of seven states have now been affected by the latest outbreak of bird flu in the country, Akinwunmi Adesina, minister of agriculture and rural development, disclosed on Wednesday. According to Akinwunmi, who listed the states as Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Ogun, Lagos and Kano, 22,573 birds have been killed since January 8 when the first case of the virus was confirmed. He said that development partners such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had been duly informed about the outbreak. But speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, Adesina assured Nigerians that the government was in full control, saying the situation would not be allowed to degenerate into an epidemic. “I wish to assure all Nigerians that Nigeria will successfully control the bird flu outbreak,” he said. “We have successfully controlled it in the past and have activated all necessary protocols and measures to ensure successful control this time.” Nigeria first recorded an outbreak of the virus in 2006 and it lingered till 2008 when it was contained. Adesina said as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, he had directed a nationwide comprehensive surveillance, quarantine, depopulation and decontamination of all affected poultry farms and areas. He said insurance package was being put in place to ensure that affected farmers did not suffer complete loss. He tasked poultry farmers on prompt reporting of any disease outbreak in their farms, urging them to patronise only qualified and registered veterinary officers. The minister revealed that if well cooked, poultry product was safe for consumption. He said the main channel of infection was direct contact with infected surfaces or objects contaminated with faeces of infected birds and advised the people to imbibe high level of hygiene.

Courtesy of The Cable

73,000 birds killed due to Avian flu in Kyushu, Japan

Bird Flu

Almost 73,000 broiler breeders at a farm in Saga prefecture in the north-west of the island of Kyushu have been culled following the detection of the H5N8 high-path bird flu virus.

The veterinary authority sent Follow Up report No.11 dated 20 January to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

On 17 January, a broiler breeder farm at Aryrita-cho in Saga prefecture was hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N8 variant. Eight of the flock of around 72,900 birds died. The rest have been culled.

According to the report, on 17 January 2015, the local veterinary service in Saga prefecture received notification from the broiler breeder farm of an increase in the number of dead birds. The samples from the dead birds were sent to the laboratory of the local veterinary service centre (Chubu Livestock Hygiene Centre) and it was found that the samples were influenza A virus positive by antigen-captive kits. On the same day the centre started RT-PCR test and on the following day it was confirmed that the subtype was H5.

A stamping-out policy has been applied to the affected farm and destruction of all the susceptible birds in the affected farm (around 72,900 birds) was completed on 18 January.

Movement restriction was imposed on the farms within the radius of 3km of the affected farm. Shipment restriction is imposed on the farms within the radius of three to 10km of the affected farm.

On 19 January 2015, the National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH) confirmed that the isolated virus is highly pathogenic to chickens based on gene sequencing and also identified the NA subtype as N8.

Courtesy of The Poultry Site

200 Birds dead covered in ‘mystery goo’ in California, America

Bird Alert

The toll of dead birds found along the shores of San Francisco Bay has now topped 200. That’s more than double the estimate that was offered Tuesday, as efforts to locate struggling animals (as well as the source of the goo responsible) kicked into high gear.

The growing casualties suggests the number will likely continue to rise over the rest of the week, though wildlife advocates are hopeful that the worst has passed.

Local officials and volunteers began collecting the dead birds over the weekend, after several dozen dead birds began showing up on a local beach last Friday — all of them covered in a mysterious goo.

Several hundred more birds have been rescued alive and transported to care facilities where they’re being washed and nursed back to health.

The mysterious substance found coating the sea birds — a combination of surf scoters, buffleheads and horned grebes — appears to be a sort of dirty rubber cement. Officials are performing a series of necropsies on deceased birds, and are running the unidentified goop through lab tests in order to put a name to it.

“It’s some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before,” Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a real mystery.”

The majority of the goo-coated birds were found along the east side of the San Francisco Bay near the San Leandro Marina, Hayward Regional Shoreline and Alameda.

Wildlife group International Bird Rescue is helping coordinate rescue and cleanup efforts.

“The good news is that we have modified our wash protocol, and it appears to be working on healthier birds,” group leader Barbara Callahan said. “However, some of the birds that have recently arrived are in much poorer condition, likely because they’ve had this substance on their feathers for several days now.”

Most experts believe the mystery goo is man made and not a natural fish oil and algal substance. Some have suggested it is likely a synthetic rubber called polyisobutylene. In 2013, a polyisobutylene spill killed some 4,000 birds in Great Britain.

Courtesy of UPI

Hundreds of dead fish found in ponds in Brownsville, Texas, America

Fish Kill Alert

Hundreds of dead fish have been discovered in water deposits and ponds in Brownsville, prompting an investigation by environmental agencies.

Texas wildlife and the Brownsville environmental and health departments conducted test to measure pollutants in the city’s water, and have thus far concluded there are no such chemicals that may be linked to the death of the fish, but may be due to recent changes in climate. Officials say the fauna living in these ponds also known as ‘Resacas’ are used to the lukewarm water temperatures. They hope the deceased fish may serve as food for other species in the area.

Courtesy of Foxrio2

Hundreds of dead mackerel found in a lake in Nova Scotia, Canada

TC Media – Cape Breton Post – Dozens of dead mackerel were visible from the home of Annette Coffin, Monday morning. A week ago hundreds could be seen.The discovery of hundreds of dead mackerel in the Bras d’Or Lake has area residents wondering what caused the fish to die.

Annette Coffin, a resident of Ben Eoin, first discovered dead fish in the water in front of her home a week ago.

“Last Monday morning, there were dead fish everywhere, on the shore and in the water,” she said. “They were sort of under the ice — there was a light coating of ice, and there were tons of them on the beach, and when I came out and had a look they were everywhere.”

Coffin said there were at least 200 dead mackerel visible from her waterfront home, which is located across from Ski Ben Eoin. On Monday, a week after Coffin made the initial discovery, there were still dozens of dead mackerel in the water near the shore, with seagulls and other birds circling the area as they have been for days.

Having just become a year-round resident of the area in the last few years, Coffin checked with some of her neighbours who also spotted lots of dead mackerel in the waters in front of their homes.

Coffin, who has since heard reports that the dead mackerel stretch at least as far as Big Pond, said everyone was surprised by the discovery.

“It was new to me but it was also new to some of the longtime neighbours,” she said. “We have some people who think that with the change in the weather — the mild November — that they didn’t make it to the ocean and that they were without oxygen and just basically froze to death when the cold weather hit. That’s one theory.”

Coffin said she contacted various fisheries officials to report the situation.

“I’m pretty sure they died of natural causes but we would like to be sure because this is a protected waterway,” she said.

Coffin said it’s her understanding an official came to the site last week and took a couple of the dead fish and water samples for testing.

An official with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans directed the Cape Breton Post to Environment Canada. No one from Environment Canada responded to calls for comment Monday.

According to the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture website, Atlantic mackerel are found in open ocean during the winter months where water temperatures are at or above 7 C, with the optimum temperature range for adults being from 9 C to 12 C. In the spring, as the water warms, schools of mackerel begin their migration to inshore waters, like the Bras d’Or Lake.

Courtesy of Truro Daily

Hundreds of dead fish appear in a canal in San Justo, Argentina

Fish Kill Alert

Deep surprise caused the emergence of hundreds of dead fish in the Canal channel overflowed San Antonio, which captures the waters of a wide basin department San Justo, province of Santa Fe.

The cause of death is unclear but estimates could be affiliated with the presence of toxic substances in the watercourse.

On the origin of that element is speculated that could be related to the application of some chemical into productive fields surrounding the mighty drain, it would have been “washed” of the rain.

Another hypothesis is the heating of the water body by the effect of the intense sunshine of recent days, which would have altered the living conditions of the medium affects the metabolism of fish caused his death.

The San Antonio Canal is overwhelmed by the large volume of water received in the last days of abundant rains in the region, particularly on the southern fringe of the department San Justo.

For the natural slope of the land, the water recedes into the wide canyon that occupies much of the interprovincial boundary between Córdoba and Santa Fe.

The channel has two parallel arms whose capacity was overcome by the volume of water that entered, invading the fields on the sides of your track. As reported portal during the last weekend residents of El Fortin who frequent the area near the major regional drainage area warned the appearance of dead fish in cuentones running to the side of Route Province 13.

Moreover, the Municipal Water Varillenses detected in an area near the park Alvarez Luque an outcrop of groundwater that revealed subsurface saturation after rainfall of over 200 mm that fell last week.

As a palliative to this situation it is planned to place a breast pump to depress the web and minimize the effects that could lead to the healthiness, especially affect the operation of septic tanks in urban areas.

For a couple of decades in the Rods are used this mechanism to control the level of the web, gigantic problem now by the unusual amount of rainfall in recent times.

Courtesy of La Manana