Archive | November 6, 2017

Thousands of dead fish and marine animals washing up along the coast of Maharashtra, India

Fish and other marine life have been washing up on the country’s west coast for the past three days, leaving marine biologists baffled.
ReefWatch Marine Conservation, a nature conservancy group, said they have reports of fish, crabs and shrimp getting stranded on the coast near Alibaug in Maharashtra, Karwar in Karnataka and Varkala in Kerala between Saturday and Tuesday. The group said it received images and videos from volunteers that indicate the cause of the marine deaths could be similar. “There are two possible reasons we are looking at — low oxygen zones at sea pushing these organisms close to the shore or severe toxicity in the water. However, only a detailed study can reveal the exact cause,” said Nayantara Jain, executive director, ReefWatch Marine Conservation.
The Maharashtra Maritime Board said the deaths were a matter of concern. “We have never seen lakhs of fish species washing ashore at different beaches along the entire west coast,” said Atul Patne, chief executive officer, MMB
After collecting samples from the dead marine organisms that have washed up along India’s west coast, marine biologists have ruled out pollution as the cause of the deaths.
“The changing weather patterns, changes in temperature and several other hydrological factors leads to such incidents. However, we are certain that there is nothing to worry about and no alerts have been issued by us,” said an official from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). “A report will be published by us by the end of this week, and it will be submitted to the district collector and the state government.”
Officials from the state mangrove cell that has setup marine rescue centres along the Maharashtra coast said that pollution can be ruled out, since incidents have been reported all along the western coast and it is not confined to an algal bloom, which is a localised pollution problem. Nutrients in pollutants can trigger algal blooms which can lead to depletion of oxygen in water, leading to death of marine organisms.
N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell, said that the incidents could have been caused due to combination of factors like rains and changes in water temperature. “Once the monsoon starts retreating, the lower most layer of the water comes up carrying nutrients. The process is also associated with shifts in temperatures between surface and deep waters,” he said. “Upwelling also leads to the formation of low oxygen zones, and this forces fish and other marine life to move closer to shallow waters. Wave action close to the shoreline further pushes these species to the beach where they get stranded.”
Some experts, however, did not rule out pollution. “Previous evidence of so many species washing ashore has been because of low oxygen in the water due to algal blooms caused by severe water pollution. This can be the probable cause for this as well. It has to be observed whether there is a change in the colour of the water to establish this,” said E Vivekanandan, consultant and senior scientist, CMFRI.
“Pollution cannot be ruled out and it could be a major factor as these areas (Alibaug, Karwar and Varkala) are all located close to offshore oilfields, and also are a major route for movement of ships,” said Dr Baban Ingole, chief scientist, National Institute of Oceanography.
Vasudevan added that CMFRI has been instructed to study the gills of the marine mammals to check for pollution and the cell will take further action based on their report.
Courtesy of

2 MILLION birds dead from bird flu, egg shortage looms in Cape Town, South Africa

“The emotional impact for us as a family business has been severe,” explains Pier Passerini.
As the managing director of Windmeul Eggs, Passerini is in the unenviable position of steering a 40-year-old family business through the catastrophic impacts of the avian influenza outbreak.
Located near Wellington, the business is among several in the Western Cape that have been forced to cull hundreds of thousands of hens in an effort to halt the spread of the deadly H5N8 virus, although the birds often die faster than they can kill them.
He says the industry is in complete shock.
“Most of us, when we speak to each other, are at a loss for words. You know it’s something that was always in the back of your mind as a poultry farmer; you’ve read about in other countries… it’s a nightmare that just happened to become reality…”
The H5N8 strain, which was first detected on 22 June, quickly spread and, at last count, was detected at 36 locations across the province.
Laying farms have been worst affected, with the Western Cape accounting for the majority of cases.
“The poultry industry in the Western Cape is quite concentrated,” explains State Veterinarian Dr Lesley van Helden.
“It’s concentrated close to Cape Town, which is obviously where the market for poultry is mainly. And the problem with this is a lot of the farms are within a few kilometres of each other, so it’s much easier for a virus to spread between the farms than if the farms were further apart,” Van Helden says.
The result has been the disposal of birds in their millions, and the composting of the carcasses to try and prevent contagion.
Passerini says Windmeul has now lost 70% of its flock to the outbreak, and that the trauma of witnessing death on this scale has affected his whole family and his employees.
“To see tons and tons of birds being disposed of on a daily basis is difficult; it’s difficult for our staff that’s been with us for many years; it’s difficult for us as a family – it’s not easy to see.”
The consequences are far reaching. The Western Cape government estimates the immediate industry losses to be R800m, but stated on Monday that the long term financial impact is likely to be around R4bn.
According to Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde, the informal economy has been most affected thus far, with the cull bird market in “big trouble”.
“Now we’ll start to actually see it in the formal economy, on the shelves in your retailers,” he warned.
Of great concern to the provincial government is how this will impact poor households who rely on chicken meat and eggs as their main source of affordable protein.
A light at the end of the tunnel?
While farmers are trying to convince state officials to give permission for vaccinations, the Western Cape government is hoping the change in seasons will help stem the spread of the virus.
 “One of the other areas that also helps us is that it’s getting warmer. And you know with humans and flu – we are more susceptible to flu in winter time. As we move to summer, we are less susceptible to flu and the same thing obviously with Avian Influenza…” Winde said.
But for farmers busy floundering in the wake of the outbreak, simply waiting for summer to take care of the problem may not feel like an appropriate response
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Hundreds of fish, birds and cattle were found dead in communities of Francisco Dumont, Brazil

Ten species of fish found dead in the river Riachão, Francisco Dumont, were taken to a lab in Montes Claros, on Wednesday morning (4), through an analysis. The fish are part of a sample of schools that are dying along the river. So far, the dead fish were found in the community wide, Boqueirão, district of Convancas to the community. To all, are 20 kilometers where the fish were found.
The Secretariat of Environment of Francisco Dumont was thrown by the Riverside population after a strong HailStorm that occurred on Saturday (30). The Secretary was on the scene, with the President of the Serra do Cabral, and the team found the death of countless chickens, wild birds and cattle. The rain lasted about five minutes and damaged crops, pasture, roofs of houses and Corral. In some parts of the municipality, the hail struck 30 cm tall. No person was injured.
“We received several calls and, along with the Serra do Cabral Institute, spent Tuesday inspecting the site; our concern is the water have been contaminated and the Riverside population be impaired. Part of the population believes that the deaths might have occurred due to a thermal shock, since there was ice buildup. But we need to confirm the motive, technically, to preserve the people and the animals that survived and if hydrate with water from the River, “explained the Secretary, Mehdi Rosa Lee.
The city of Francisco Dumont issued a statement advising the population living along the river not to consume water or fish from the River, until the report is issued. Civil Defence is in town and will provide water in tanker trucks to the population, in partnership with the city. Still no prediction of when the report is ready.
The Attorney General’s Office and the secretariat will operate and GIMS ISC to monitor the case. There is suspicion that, with the rains, the pesticides to crops in the region have reached the river. “The Institute was created in 2007 to fight environmental crimes. We are following the case to assist in procedures of determination of what happened with the fish, “said the President of the Office, Genésio Adam Fonseca filho, President of Codema of Francisco Dumont.
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Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in Mersin, Turkey

In the District of Silifke hundreds of fish washed ashore. Fish deaths that occurred in the neighborhood of sand citizens worried.
The reason is yet unknown reason on the beach in the death of hundreds of fish concerned citizens saw the incident.
To inform the citizens with the Silifke Police Department came to the scene district of food, agriculture and animal husbandry Department engineers and District Health Directorate teams review. Engineers, suppliers of fish dead fish taking water samples with the sample to make the necessary determinations, and to investigate the cause of the laboratories said they were sending.
The first one to see the fish that hit the coastal edge of the Ande, “we came to the beach to swim in the morning. Hundreds of fish were surprised at the sight of the shore. We are very concerned about this situation. We encounter something like this before. I have no idea why these fish died, “he said.
The dead fish that struck the edge of the beach in Silifke death official statement yet from authoritative to the mouth yet.
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Subject to change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 1244 km S of Muscat, Oman / pop: 797,000 / local time: 20:32:20.9 2017-11-06
649 km SE of Şalālah, Oman / pop: 164,000 / local time: 20:32:20.9 2017-11-06
411 km E of Tamrida, Yemen / pop: 8,600 / local time: 19:32:20.9 2017-11-06

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Subject to change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 104 km E of Saint Helier, Jersey / pop: 28,000 / local time: 12:43:19.4 2017-11-06
40 km NW of Caen, France / pop: 111,000 / local time: 13:43:19.4 2017-11-06
12 km N of Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, France / pop: 2,000 / local time: 13:43:19.4 2017-11-06

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Distances: 642 km S of Calgary, Canada / pop: 1,020,000 / local time: 02:13:35.7 2017-11-06
127 km SE of Helena, United States / pop: 28,200 / local time: 02:13:35.7 2017-11-06
17 km SW of Bozeman, United States / pop: 37,300 / local time: 02:13:35.7 2017-11-06
4 km SW of Four Corners, United States / pop: 3,200 / local time: 02:13:35.7 2017-11-06

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Subject to change

Depth: 20 km

Distances: 238 km SW of Apia, Samoa / pop: 40,500 / local time: 20:36:01.2 2017-11-06
211 km S of Gataivai, Samoa / pop: 1,200 / local time: 20:36:01.2 2017-11-06

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