Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Death of marine animals

Any explanation will do - so long as it's not the truth

Marina Del Rey's "Horror Show"

  • Unusual number of marine animals suddenly getting sick and dying
  • I wonder if something’s in the water” killing them
  • They “hobble and fall over, it’s heartbreaking”

Marina Del Rey, CA -

"It's like a horror show, really!" That's what Kerma Boyum-Sarmiento said after watching a pelican die right by her apartment complex. But, to Shay Yuval, the "horror show" is watching a number of pelicans and other critters die or show signs of serious sickness in the last couple of weeks in the rocks by Via Marina and Pacific. To the two MDR women what's happening is very suspicious.
They think the recent deaths are somehow connected to the die-off a couple of weeks ago a of some 6 tons of anchovies. Those deaths were believed to have been the result of oxygen depletion in the water. Marine biologists say during springtime it's very common to see an increase of animal deaths in the area. Marine Animal Rescue's Peter Wallenstein said, in the last two weeks, he's rescued a half dozen sea lions all suffering from demoic acid poisoning. Demoic acid is a substance formed by a type of algae. Because fish eat it a pelican, for instance, could eat a fish with it and - depending on the levels - get demoic acid poisoning.
It won't be known if the dead anchovies had high levels of demoic acid for several weeks. CA Fish and Game officials say that's how long it will take for anchovy-testing to come back. Is there a connection between the anchovy-die-off and pelicans and other sealife suddenly getting sick? That is yet to be determined. But, for those who walk along the water or live by it seeing dead pelicans, seals and other creatures is, as Kerma Boyum-Sarmiento said, "like a horror show."

(FOX 11 / CNS) Thousands of dead fish mysteriously rose to the surface at a section of Marina Del Rey near Ballona Creek, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The fish, which included anchovies, rays and other species, came to surface at Basin A of the marina, which is near Bora Bora Way, according to a deputy at the sheriff's Marina del Rey station. The deputy said it "probably had something to with the ecosystem."

Marine biologist Benjamin Kay told news media outlets that recent hot weather probably caused a lack of dissolved oxygen in the harbor waters.

"This is a classic harbor event," he told the station. The fish likely "suffocated," Marine Animal Rescue Director Peter Wallerstein told the news media, which reported that neighbors starting making calls to the sheriff's station at about 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Seagulls and sea lions were making a feast of the the kill and at least one fisherman gathered some of the dead creatures to use as bait.

A watch commander at the sheriff's Marina del Rey station said the state Department of Fish and Wildlife was called in to help remove the dead fish.

A representative from the department said she was researching the event but had no immediate comment.

Similar kills have occurred in King Harbor in Redondo Beach and Ventura Harbor in Ventura. In those cases, the fish were used as fertilizer.

From Gigi Graciette:

It's a sad sight. And a stinky one too.

Thousands of dead fish floating among the boats in Marina del Rey; part of a "die off" that began Saturday.

Not uncommon say marine experts, when large schools of fish swim into harbors, where there is a limited supply of oxygen-rich water.

On Sunday, clean-up crews filled about 175 industrial size garbage bags with the dead anchovies, rays, angel sharks and other fish. 7000 pounds worth but there are still thousands more making for a very a eerie sight.

"It's extremely sad", said resident Francine Danieri.

"It's our marina. It's where we live and we don't want to see anything dead."

Carol Baker with LA County's Department of Beaches and Harbors tells us that testing will have to be done on the fish to find out why they died. It could be an algae bloom or the lack of oxygen or something altogether different. Right now no one knows for sure, she says.

"Whether it's an environment anomaly or if this is something we created, I don't know", said Marnella Stout who lives in the area. "But I think we're going to get a lot more of this."

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