UK & World News

  • 20 May 2014, 13:47

Dead Fish Mystery Puzzles California Scientists

Marine biologists are working to determine what has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of fish along the coastal waters of Marina del Rey.

Dead anchovies and stingrays created a silvery blanket on the water's surface and a pungent smell that set off a feeding frenzy among harbour seals, pelicans and seagulls.

Wildlife workers have been removing the dead fish while biologists tried to look at the possible causes, including a recent Southern California heat wave, lack of oxygen in the water.

The incident is likely the result of a confluence of factors, said Dana Roeber Murray, a marine and coastal scientist with the environmental group Heal the Bay.

"They're not unheard of," she said.

"I would not tie it to a big indicator that bad things are happening in our environment. It's more like a multitude of circumstances happening at once."

With numerous boats and reduced water circulation, such marinas are more likely to harbour pollution, bacteria and other toxins, Ms Murray said.

Similar fish die-offs occurred in Ventura Harbor and at Redondo Beach in 2011.

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