Thousands of dead fish found, ‘a mystery’ on Melbourne beach in Florida, USA

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Photo: Jim Waymer, FLORIDA TODAY
Thousands of dead herring provided an odious distraction Monday from otherwise hospitable beach conditions, dotting the shoreline from south of Patrick Air Force Base through Melbourne Beach.
 
They appear to be the same species of fish — thread herring — found washed up along other beaches along the Space Coast last week. Countless thread herring washed up dead Thursday along beaches in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.
 
“There was nothing out here yesterday,” said Ron Van Kempen, a seasonal resident from Minnesota, fishing just south of Patrick AFB Monday. He cast his fishing line among floating herring corpses, which also speckled the beach where he stood.
 
The cause of the fish kill remains unknown.
 
State wildlife officials took water samples but don’t expect results back until next week, said Frank McCloy, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
 
While state tests last week found moderate levels of red tide in Southwest Florida, there have been no harmful algae blooms reported in eastern Florida.
 
The fish lack any marks that would indicate they were discarded from a fishing net.
 
People should avoid contact with the fish, officials said.
 
“Stay away from it, don’t touch it, don’t eat it,” McCloy warned.
 
FWC also received report last Wednesday of about 100 dead fish in the Port St. John area of the lagoon. That species has yet to be identified.
Courtesy of usatoday.com

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