Thousands of dead fish, crabs, eels and other marine life wash up, ‘never seen before’, on the shores of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay, USA #Fish #Crabs #eels #Octopus#Shrimp #Florida #BiscayneBay #USA
Thousands of dead fish and other sea life washed up this week on the shores of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay.
The fish kill was first reported on Monday. Members of Miami Waterkeeper, an advocacy group, saw about a dozen dead fish when they went out to conduct weekly water sampling. Then reports of dead fish, shrimp, crab, eels, octopus and other animals came in from North Miami to Virginia Key.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” local resident Kathryn Mikesell told New Times. She has swam in the bay at least three mornings a week for five years.
Researchers and government agencies are still investigating the cause, but indicators point to very warm water temperatures and low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, according to a news release from Miami Waterkeeper.
“It’s an emergency. The bay is not in a good place right now,” Piero Gardinali, an associate professor at Florida International University who is helping investigate the fish kill, told New Times. “It’s a warning sign.”
In addition to the dead fish, a large group of rays, believed to be struggling to breathe, huddled along the shoreline near the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, a bird rescue and rehabilitation facility on Biscayne Bay. Personnel from a nearby science aquarium used soaker hoses and air pumps to aerate the corner of the bay where the rays had taken refuge to save them.
Fish and other underwater marine life rely on dissolved oxygen in the water to survive. Warm waters bring those levels down. The Waterkeeper noted very high water temperatures of about 90 degrees in the area where the fish kill was first discovered.
Algae blooms can also cause low oxygen levels, but the Waterkeeper said in an update Thursday that there was no evidence of a toxic bloom. They think an ongoing die-off of sea grass, which produces oxygen, could be a main factor that led to the fish kill.
More than 20 square miles of seagrass has disappeared from the bay in recent years, according to the Waterkeeper. A study last year from NOAA warned that the bay’s ecosystem was on the verge of a “regime shift”. The study found increasing levels of nutrients in the water, which causes numerous impacts that are detrimental to marine habitats.
“We are passing a tipping point for the bay not being able to support any life – literally overnight, the bay became a dead zone,” Miami Waterkeeper said of this week’s fish kill.
“This event is not a ‘normal occurrence,’ but rather a sign that something is seriously out of balance in our bay.”
Courtesy of weather.com
Photo By LORENZO SOLER ASENSIO
Thousands of shrimp were found dead last Friday on the shore of La Colonia beach in Águilas. The image surprised neighbors and visitors who were enjoying a day at the beach, when they ran into a trail of about six meters full of these marine decapods.
The Councilor for the Environment, Ginés Desiderio Navarro, explained to LA VERDAD that “what happened in La Colonia is usually common after storms. It is a natural phenomenon. Marine currents occur in this breeding season, and they often take these beings out of the water, who suffocate to death on the shore ». He added that “many fishermen also commented on what had happened, but it is normal.”
Courtesy of laverdad.es
THE Mar Menor lagoon in Murcia is in a ‘critical condition’ following the devastating Gota Fria floods, the regional government has warned.
Thousands of fish and crustaceans have died after suffocating due to the change in the water’s properties following last month’s flooding.
According to the regional environment minister, Antonio Luengo, scientists and experts are desperately trying to find ways to inject oxygen into the coastal lagoon, which is the largest of its kind in Europe.
It comes after 60 hectometres of fresh water carrying sediments poured into the Mar Menor, leaving the lower layers without oxygen.
This so-called ‘dead water’ now spreads over 210 hectares.
Jose Garcia Varias from the World Wildlife Foundation tweeted: “Thousands of fishes, crabs, shrimps dead in Mar Menor (Murcia), the biggest coastal lagoon in Europe.
“The situation right now is critical, fishers association of SSF has decided to close the fisheries, thousands of European eels are dead in the coast line (an endangered species which finds refuge in the Mar Menor).”
Courtesy of theolivepress.es
The Italian coast guard is warning people not to help themselves to shrimp that have been washing up by the thousands on an island near Naples.
In the past few days a tide of dead crustaceans has turned the bay of San Montano on Ischia pink, prompting an investigation by biologists.
“At present the incident seems to be limited to San Montano beach, but the Coast Guard is checking to ascertain whether the same phenomenon has occurred in other parts of the island,” said the commander of Ischia’s coast guard, Andrea Meloni.
He strongly advised against eating the washed-up shrimp, given that it’s not yet known what caused their death.
Scientists from a biological research institute in Naples have taken samples for analysis, which they hope will shed light on the mysterious beaching.
According to Repubblica, there may be a perfectly natural explanation: the shrimp may simply have been caught in strong underwater currents that threw the entire shoal off course, a phenomenon that has been known to happen in other parts of southern Italy.
But authorities have not excluded the possibility that more harmful factors are at work, such as pollution or a sudden ‘bloom’ of toxic organisms, which is becoming increasingly common in warming seas.
Courtesy of thelocal.it