Archive | May 1, 2019

Mass die off of #krill in #PowellRiver, #BritishColumbia, #Canada

A photo of the krill, sourced from the Facebook page of Darlene Williams

An apparent mass death of krill near Powell River has a fisheries scientist concerned.

The die-off was first discovered along the shoreline just southeast of the Beach Gardens Resort and Marina, on Wednesday evening. A post by Powell River resident Darlene Williams stated that she saw what appeared to be “1000 dead baby prawns”.

According to zooplankton taxonomist Moira Galbraith, who works at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Patricia Bay, the animals appeared to be female krill in the process of mating, or having recently mated.

She believed the mass death of the animals could be linked to an earlier bloom of phytoplankton near Powell River back in March. DFO scientists had been passing through the area and got samples for temperature, salinity, and oxygen level.

“There was a huge plankton bloom at the surface, so we were thinking that it’s possible that that bloom has now passed, gone on, and as it dies and falls out of the water column, it drops to the bottom,” said Galbraith.

“Decomposition of that much biomass would use up a lot of action, and possibly turn the bottom 50 metres or 100 metres anoxic, or very low oxygen, potentially, which could kill the krill when they’re down at that depth.”

She also believed the krill could have been at the surface at the time of their death.

“These animals are usually long lived, one to two years, sometimes three years,” said Galbraith.

“You want them to reproduce. A lot of animals feed on them, they’re sort of fish food, for forage fish like herring, and salmon, they’re also food for dogfish salmon, they’re also food for some of the seabirds, so it’s concerning because it looks like they mated, but it doesn’t look they spawned.”

There is potential that the krill deaths could affect the local food web.

“You’re got a whole generation there that have not produced offspring, because the expectation of that offspring would be growing up this coming year,” said Galbraith.

“They hatch out, and then they were going to grow to 15 millimetres, that’s a lot of missing biomass.”

She’s hoping to get a sample soon, in order to figure out how the animals died. A bacterial or viral cause would need to be ruled out.

“To me, those animals look pretty fat and healthy,” said Galbraith.

“So, it’s either low oxygen kill off, or bacterial or viral infection.”

She said that if anyone got a sample from the beach, they should put it in alcohol or freeze it immediately.

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1,100 dead #dolphins have washed up this year in #France

28.03.19 Dead Dolphins In France

The dolphins’ bodies were horribly mutilated, the fins cut off.

But what shocked French marine researchers wasn’t just the brutality of the deaths of these highly intelligent mammals, but the numbers involved — a record 1,100 have landed on France’s Atlantic coast beaches since January.

The mass deaths, widely blamed on industrial fishing, have alarmed animal welfare groups and prompted France’s ecology minister to launch a national plan to protect them.

“There’s never been a number this high,” said Willy Daubin, a member of La Rochelle University’s National Center for Scientific Research. “Already in three months, we have beaten last year’s record, which was up from 2017 and even that was the highest in 40 years.”

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Hundreds of #turtles washing up #dead in #NewEngland, #USA

Above, Karen Dourdeville, right, brings in another deceased Kemp's ridley turtle for cataloguing and bagging by James Neilsen, left, at the Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet, Mass

Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet, Mass

At a sea turtle hospital housed at an old New England shipyard, a biologist leans over a table and uses a needle to draw blood from a sick loggerhead before tagging its flailing flipper.

These were the first tentative steps toward a return to the ocean for this juvenile nicknamed Honey Bun and hundreds of other loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and green turtles stranded this winter on Cape Cod beaches.

The number of warm water turtles stuck on beaches here has risen dramatically in the past decade, according to the Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

This year, volunteers recovered 829 helpless turtles washed up on the sand – about half of them dead including some frozen solid.

Cape Cod is believed to have one of the largest annual turtle strandings in the world. There are occasional strandings in Florida, Texas and as far north as the Chesapeake Bay.

But those tend to be isolated events connected to cold snaps involving a few dozen to a couple of thousand turtles.

Some experts think New England’s spike in cold-stunned turtles is a climate change story with a twist: the hook-like projection of Cape Cod into the Atlantic helps trap turtles drawn there by warming waters but weakened when the ocean cools down.

Most rescued turtles suffer from compromised immune systems and pneumonia due to hypothermia.

Exposed to cold water for prolonged periods, they become lethargic and can’t move or eat. The ones that survive take months to recover.

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Dozens of #sharks wash up #dead in #NewJersey, #USA

26.03.19 Dead Sharks In USA

Dozens of spiny dogfish sharks washed up on beaches along the Jersey Shore last weekend.

And while it’s still not clear what caused the deaths, officials believe it most likely was a natural occurrence.

Conservation officers saw roughly 60 decayed dogfish during their patrols in Atlantic County, according to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. Those sharks were found from Brigantine to Longport.

Others were found as far north as Long Beach Island in Ocean County, state conservation officer Jason Snellbaker told NBC10.

“Most of the fish were decomposed and decayed so those fish were out probably at sea for a while,” Snellbaker said.

Some theories have arisen, but nothing has been proven. One theory is that the dogfish may have gotten caught on a salt marsh in a back bay during an extreme high tide followed by an outgoing tide, dying either there or in a tidal pool. It’s also possible another high tide carried the dogfish to sea, with strong winds pushing them onto the beach.

Another theory is that a sudden, extreme change in water temperature could have stunned the sharks — with fatal consequences.

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2,500 #cattle die suddenly, ‘a #mystery’ in #Peten, #Guatemala

Livestock Alert

The Minister of Agriculture, Mario Méndez, said that a state multidisciplinary team was formed to detect and control the cause of sudden death of livestock.

“The deployment of a brigade of veterinarians and zootechnicians has been ordered to identify which disease is causing problems and, based on that, fight it immediately,” he said.

The official explained that the advocacy group will be chaired by officials of his ministry and composed of members of the National Council of Protected Areas (Conap), the Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred), the Ministry of Health, petén veterinary laboratories and the Livestock Association.

“We will take samples of blood, tissues, viscera and body fluids from heifers and cows clinically healed, females and males slaughtered in the presence of the veterinarian or less than 24 hours after death,” he said.

He announced that samples will be sent to laboratories in Argentina, Colombia, the United States and Mexico for analysis and, based on the results, a contingency plan will be launched.

Montenegro said it expects to have the results in early April and begin eradicating the disease in Petén, the largest province in the country and the furthest from the capital, about 500 km away.

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Thousands of dead #fish found in a #dam in #SaoPaulo, #Brazil

Fish Kill Alert

Fishermen, environmentalists and residents of the Billings dam in São Bernardo do Campo, in the state of São Paulo, were alarmed by scenes of thousands of dead fish that were seen floating in the waters of the dam over the weekend.

They are fish of various species and sizes. The cause of animal death is not yet known.

The Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb) said that technicians are surveying the Billings dam and will investigate the cause of the fish deaths.

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Thousands of #livestock killed in #flooding in #Nebraska and #Iowa, #USA

Livestock Alert

Farmers in parts of Nebraska and Iowa had precious little time to move themselves from the floodwaters that rushed over their lands last week, so many left their livestock and the harvest behind of 2018.

Now, as they watch the new lakes that overtook their property slowly recede, some have a painfully long time to reflect: They lost so much, staying in business will be a mighty struggle.

Across parts of the Midwest, hundreds of livestock are drowned or stranded; valuable unsold, stored grain is ruined in submerged storage bins; and fields are like lakes, casting doubt on whether they can be planted in 2019.

These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.

“I would say 50 percent of the farmers in our area will not recover from this,” Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa’s flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week.

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Thousands of dead #fish found floating in the #Cuyahoga #river in #Cleveland, #Ohio, #USA

Fish Kill Alert

Thousands of dead fish have been spotted this week floating along the Cuyahoga River. On Friday, wildlife officials say this alarming sight shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

A viewer told News 5 he spotted numerous dead fish on the Cuyahoga River in the Flats East Bank earlier this week.

Fish Hatchery Program Administrator for The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Kevin Kayle said the sight of thousands of dead fish along the river shouldn’t be a cause for concern as this large number of dead fish is not related to any pollution event.

The dead fish were identified as gizzard shad— a bait for other large predatory fish—and they are abundant along the shores of Lake Erie, harbors and lower rivers during late fall through early spring, according to Kayle.

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30 #turtles found dead along the coast of #Uruguay

Photo: Rodrigo Guerra

Daily two or three lifeless turtles appear between Montevideo and Rocha. Some recent cases were in Santa Monica (kilometer 178 of route 10 in Maldonado) and in Bello Horizonte beach (km 56 of the Interbalnearia route).

“The causes differ, in Rocha the Brazilian fishing boats fish turtles in their nets, while on the Montevideo side the issue is with the trawlers, we have talked with them and they do not really intend on the turtle, They are looking for fish, “Alejandro Fallabrino, director of the NGO Karumbé, who works on conservation and environmental education, told Montevideo Portal.

“The loggerhead turtle has a theme that is when the trawl quickly rises and the decompression syndrome occurs, which causes the turtles to fill with bubbles and when they reach the ship they are semi alive, then they go back to the sea and there they appear stranded in the area, “he added.

The loggerhead turtle is an animal that feeds especially on snails, crabs and fish and the Río de la Plata is an area where there is abundance, so the turtles are in the areas of fishing boats. Pollution is the other reason why these animals die in the Uruguayan coasts.

Karumbé has not stopped receiving messages for a month. “The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recommends continuing with responsible fishing, some countries are trying to catch only fish and continue with these habits Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer fish and the nets need more hours in the water, that’s why more turtles are captured, “Fallabrino said.

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Hundreds of dead #fish found wash ashored in #Cattolica, #Italy

Fish Kill Alert

The presence, along the shore of Cattolica, of a large number of beached gray mullets was a cause for concern. Yesterday, from the early hours of the morning, there were numerous reports that documented the death of fish. As the hours went by it emerged that the morìa involved a large part of the Rimini coast with reports to Viserba. So much so that the veterinary service of the Ausl Romagna would have been alerted by both the Catholic and Riccione harbor authorities. The veterinarians carried out the sampling of some fish which they then sent for laboratory analysis. The results will probably take several days. “The mullet is not a fish that dies due to the cold – explains Attilio Rinaldi, president of the Marine Research Center – among other things at this time there are no temperatures so low as to cause suffering to the fish. I exclude that the cause of death may be anoxia. Both because the mullet is not a bottom fish and because this season does not occur ». Rinaldi also excludes a possible poisoning. “We did not have any form of pollution, and other species of fish would have died. If the phenomenon had been more circumscribed, the cause could perhaps be the raid of some boat that then threw back the fish into the sea having no market. In any case – concludes Rinaldi – it will be necessary to wait for the outcome of the analytical procedures ». Both because the mullet is not a bottom fish and because this season does not occur ». Rinaldi also excludes a possible poisoning. “We did not have any form of pollution, and other species of fish would have died. If the phenomenon had been more circumscribed, the cause could perhaps be the raid of some boat that then threw back the fish into the sea having no market. In any case – concludes Rinaldi – it will be necessary to wait for the outcome of the analytical procedures ». Both because the mullet is not a bottom fish and because this season does not occur ». Rinaldi also excludes a possible poisoning. “We did not have any form of pollution, and other species of fish would have died.

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