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250,000 salmon die due to algal bloom in British Columbia, Canada

An algae bloom in the Jervis Inlet in British Columbia, Canada, has killed an estimated 250,000 fish at two Grieg Seafood’s salmon farms in the area.

The Bergen, Norway-headquartered company, which operates several salmon farms and a hatchery in British Columbia, said an outbreak of heterosigma, a species of microscopic algae, spread in high concentration through the entire water column in the inlet.

“Grieg Seafood continuously works to improve biosecurity and all of Grieg Seafood’s sites perform algal monitoring by taking daily samples which are analyzed using advanced image analysis techniques. This allows for the identification of the species, prevalence and depth distribution of any algae present,” the company said in a press release.

However, due to the abundance of the algae, the company said use of aeration treatments or other measures to protect its fish “could not prevent the incident.”

The bloom killed an estimated 50 percent of the fish at the two sites, a total loss estimated at 1,000 tons. The fish were scheduled to be harvested in the second half of 2018, the company said.

In its release, Grieg Seafood said it carried insurance, and that the estimated cost of the die-off, including individual share of insurance, will total around NOK 25 million (USD 3.1 million, EUR 2.6 million). That cost will be realized on the company’s second-quarter financial statement, Grieg said.

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Thousands of dead fish ‘mysteriously’ found at Salford Park lake in Birmingham, UK

Thousands of dead fish have mysteriously floated to the surface of a city lake popular with anglers – weeks after the authority said the water was ‘NOT hazardous’.
Bream, perch, tench, eels, roach and carp have been found dead at Salford Park, in the shadow of Spaghetti Junction.
And the remains of swans and birds have also been uncovered close to the lake in Nechells.
Fisherman Krisstian Smith made the grim discovery when he visited the park on Wednesday, weeks after he first raised the alarm of worrying algae in the water.
Earlier this month, the Birmingham Mail told how the angler contacted the city council at the end of June to report a number of dead fish in the ‘murky’ lake.
He also said he had witnessed seagulls ‘falling from the sky’ after drinking the water.
Krisstian, who has fished at the lake regularly over the past four years, said it was normally ‘crystal clear’ and filled with fish.
But at the time, Birmingham City Council moved to reassure residents the lake was safe and ‘not hazardous’.
Steve Hollingworth, Birmingham City Council’s Service Director for open space and wellbeing, said: “Although the water is cloudy, it is a naturally occurring algae bloom and is not hazardous.
“We are satisfied that it is safe.”
Footage captured this week showed the scale of the problem, with anglers fearing around 90 per-cent of the lake’s fish stock has now been lost.
Krisstian said: “I knew something was wrong at the start of June when there was a difference in the clarity of the water – which is usually crystal clear.
“My first thought was that it was blue green algae, which can be harmful to humans and animals.
“I reported it to the council who said it was safe.
“But this week, I was heartbroken to see thousands of dead fish and the few that remain are gasping for air.
“The lake is usually full of bream, perch, tench, eels and carp. There is even a catfish in there.
“I would say around 90 per-cent of those are now dead.
“The pool is very popular with anglers but I doubt match fishermen will want to go there now.
“On Tuesday, the council came down to remove the dead fish and aerate the lake but it’s too little too late.”
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: “The naturally occurring algal bloom, which is not hazardous but had made the water cloudy, has now dissipated. This caused a reaction which takes oxygen out of the water, putting the fish in distress.
“Following advice from the Environment Agency, two pumps have been brought into oxygenate the water and this process will continue until we are satisfied that the pool and fish are settled.”
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Thousands of dead sardines wash up on the coast of Muscat, Oman

An algae outbreak has resulted in the death of thousands of sardines near the Coast Guard Port in Sidab area of the capital Muscat recently.
The sardines had choked to death due to the lack of oxygen in the seawater, according to experts from the Marine Science and Fisheries Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
After investigating the samples, it was found that the oxygen shortage was caused by the excessive growth of plankton, which is scientifically known as prorocentrum arcuatum, an expert from the centre said.
Oxygen levels had dropped sharply to 1.2 mg/l while it should be around 1.5mg/l and above.
Phytoplankton are the self-feeding components for the plankton and a key part of oceans, seas and freshwater basin ecosystem. Large Zooplanktons, fish, and mammals depend on these plankton for their survival.
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Thousands of dead fish found in a canal in Florida, USA

Fish Kill Alert

An algae bloom of unknown origin has killed what a Pinellas County official described Thursday as “thousands and thousands” of fish in an outfall canal between Lake Tarpon and the northern reaches of Tampa Bay.
The algae bloom near Oldsmar appears to have absorbed much of the oxygen in the water in that area, suffocating thousands of juveniles of a type of fish known as menhaden.
“The menhaden are the only ones that have been affected,” said Kelli Hammer Levy, director of the county’s environmental management division.
The first calls to the state’s fish kill hotline came in over the Fourth of July weekend. When officials from the county and the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission checked it out Tuesday, they found the water in the canal near Curlew Road was very low in oxygen.
The bloom and fish kill occurred near the Gull Aire Village mobile home park on Curlew Road. No one at the park’s homeowners association responded to a request for comment.
The algae found in the canal is not the same as the toxic algae bloom now plaguing the state’s Atlantic coast, Levy said. That algae bloom has so far not caused a fish kill, although its putrid smell has driven tourists away and residents indoors.
Instead, the samples taken from the outfall canal turned up two types of algae: heterosigma, which has caused fish kills in Louisiana, Japan and Brazil; and gymnodinium, which is associated with Red Tide and has been found for more than 100 years in Florida coastal waters from Pensacola to the Dry Tortugas. Both are found in salty or brackish water, not freshwater.
Algae blooms and fish kills are rare in the freshwater of Lake Tarpon, but not unknown. In the summer of 1987, Lake Tarpon suffered a major bloom of a type of blue-green algae that covered 80 percent of the lake. The bloom persisted all summer, but there were only minor fish kills.
No one knows what causes a handful of microscopic algae to suddenly erupt in a bloom of millions of the plantlike creatures that coats the water. Usually it occurs when the water is extremely warm — as it is now — and in areas where nutrient pollution provides a type of fertilizer for rapid growth.
Menhaden spawn in the saltwater offshore, but then the young move into estuarine nursery areas such as Tampa Bay, where they spend the early part of their lives in brackish water. That’s likely where the thousands of dead fish in the canal came from.
The county has no plans to go out and scoop up all the dead fish, so anyone who lives nearby has to put up with the smell for a while.
“We do not clean them up,” Levy said. “They make fine eating for some birds.”
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Mass die off of salmon in fish farms, due to ‘toxic algae’ in British Columbia, Canada

The call came in at the end of a busy day last week: ‘Cermaq is experiencing a mass die-off at two of their farms in Clayoquot Sound’. By early morning the next day we had assembled a volunteer boat driver and photographer, sourced a donated water taxi, and raised the funds to fuel the boat and hire a videographer complete with drone. We set off in anticipation.
The first farm we got to didn’t seem to have any unusual activity, other than the whole Herbert Inlet was a weird murky turquoise. An employee boated over to photograph us, and a polite exchange followed. ‘We’re not sure what this colour is’, he said. ‘We’ve been seeing it for six weeks—could be Chryso’ (shorthand for Chrysochromulina, a species of algae).
The second farm we reached was the Millar Channel farm, just kilometres north of the site evicted by Ahousaht First Nations, after it was occupied by the Yaakswiis Warriors last September. There was a hum of activity: workers tossing dead salmon into totes, which were lifted and dumped into semi-trailers designed to haul away animal remains. The tubes sucking the dead fish (morts) from the pens were getting plugged up with the sheer numbers, and divers were in the pens unplugging them.
We observed the activity, documenting what was going on and taking video and photos. A fish farm boat then followed us to the Dixon Bay farm, which appeared to be dormant. Time to head back to Tofino to get the word out!
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MASSIVE – 21 MILLION+ salmon dead due to algae bloom in Chiloe and Aysen region, Chile

Already withdrew 60 percent of salmon killed by harmful algae in the Los Lagos region. The Government seeks that unemployed are integrated to the restaurant industry and tourism.
They are 34 centres of those affected by harmful algae crops, leaving so far 35 thousand tons of mortality, which corresponds to 21 million dead salmon.
The Sernapesca, Eduardo Aguilera, regional director said that more affected centers have not been reported, realizing that already has pulled out 60 percent of the salmon to turn them into fish meal.
From the Government, the Mayor of Los Lagos, Leonardo de la Prida, said seeking a labour of persons remaining unemployed retraining, where one possibility is that they add to the restaurant industry or tourism.
A proposal that will be analyzed on Tuesday, where participate the regional head, the National Confederation of workers of the Salmon and the single Confederation of workers, in order to find a solution to this crisis which threatens to leave thousands of people without their labor supply.
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MASSIVE – 4 MILLION+ salmon dead due to algae bloom in Chiloe and Aysen region, Chile

Four companies in the sector have been reported so far, that have died les about 4 millions of fish product of harmful algae.
The salmon industry is involved in a new crisis, mainly by the delicate financial situation faced by several companies in the sector, low prices and some regulatory changes that could mean a fall in production.
This negative Outlook has joined it a new ingredient in recent weeks: the flourishing of harmful algae (FAN), also known as algal bloom, affecting more than 15 centres of culture in the areas of Chiloé Center and North of the Aysén region.
In this scenario, four salmon-producing companies have reported, since last Friday, who have lost around 5 million fish in total, from this phenomenon. By consolidating the figures, the value of dead fish is equivalent to slightly more than $30 million.
The first company to inform the Superintendence of securities and insurance (SVS) was Camanchaca, who on Friday said that “preliminary estimates indicate that the mortality of fish would amount to approximately 1.5 million fish”. He also said that the centers of crops affected, in the tenth Region, had about 3 million fish with a book value of $22.2 million.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Blumar reported that his Center “Caicura” – X – Region was affected and explained that “the quantification of loss today is approximately 110,000 fish”. The firm noted that prior to the event, Culture Center had 1.2 million fish, a book value of US $7.5 million.
However, he warned that “current weather conditions favour the presence of FAN, so we stay tuned to its evolution with activated contingency systems”.
Another company that saw its cultivation centers impacted was AquaChile. “According to preliminary estimates the loss by the fact would reach to date a total of 2.3 million units of Atlantic salmon (…), with an estimated value of US $15 million”.
He added that its production facilities affected do not have insurance against this risk.
Australis Seafoods was not exempt from this negative situation, since its production Puluqui Center, which has 1.1 million of the salmon species Atlantic, suffered the onslaught of harmful algae.
Although he said no to the SVS many fish died because of this situation, said that “is not possible yet to determine damage actually caused by the mentioned phenomenon, which are estimated at approximately in the amount of US $6.5 million”.
Then publish suffered impacts, the companies said will determine in the short term, what will be the financial impact that each one as a result of this situation.
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Thousands of fish have died in a reservoir in Nevada, USA

Fish Kill Alert

The recovery could take years. Thousands of fish are dead in Rye Patch reservoir, suffocated by a type of algae that’s deadly to fish.
“There were a lot of fish a Rye Patch. Thousands and thousands of fish died in this event,” said Brad Bauman, Fisheries Biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
In early October 2015, Bauman started investigating the fish kill. The answer at first seemed obvious.
“When we do have fish die-offs in northern Nevada like this, most of the time it is due to low dissolved oxygen levels,” said Bauman.
Tests showed dissolved oxygen levels were low, but not deadly. Months of research led Bauman to a similar fish kill in Texas in the 1980s.
“In the end we discovered that it is a species of algae called golden algae,” said Bauman.
The drought had created the perfect storm in Rye Patch. The water was stagnant, low in oxygen, and high in salinity, and it was cold. All those factors are essential in a Golden Algae bloom.
“This algae could have always been there and we just did not know about it and had not encountered it before,”
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Thousands of dead fish wash ashore in Hancock County, Mississippi, USA

Fish Kill Alert

Thousands of dead fish were picked up by land servicing crews in Hancock County on Sunday, and officials say it may be associated with the red tide algae that spread through South Mississippi waters earlier this month.
A dump truck driver told the Sun Herald that he began loading dead fish on the beach near Washington Street early Sunday morning. By 1 p.m., he had made his way to the shoreline in Waveland near Buccaneer State park. He said crews picked up about 15,000 fish.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass said most of the fish washing ashore have been black drum. Bass said Hancock County Emergency Management received calls about the fish early on Sunday, and the agency has been working with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to remove the fish.
Bass said the county has received some phone calls over the past two weeks about dead fish washing ashore, and those instances were associated with the red tide algae blooms as it moved westward into Louisiana.
The red tide algae that swept through South Mississippi waters earlier this month was responsible for the deaths of thousands of fish that washed ashore in Harrison and Hancock counties. On Dec. 11, the algae blooms shut down oyster reefs across the Coast, and they may remain closed until March.
Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said the agency believes the red tide is responsible for the fish deaths in Hancock County. She said dead crabs may have washed ashore as well. DMR will sample the water Monday to be certain.
Scallan said the red tide algae has been moving west and should be in Texas waters, but the effects can still be lingering in South Mississippi.
Officials told the Sun Herald this string of algae blooms is one of the worst in South Mississippi history.
Algal concentrations, measured in cells per liter of water, must reach 5,000 cells per liter to cause oyster reef closures. Water samples taken Dec. 12 in some areas in Mississippi held concentrations of more than 1 million cells per liter, DMR Chief Scientific Officer Kelly Lucas said.
“This is very uncommon,” she said. “We have had a bloom before, in the 1990s, but I don’t think we’ve ever had cell counts that high.”
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Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

Fish Kill Alert

An abundance of algae in the Mississippi Sound may be the cause of hundreds of small dead fish washing ashore in Biloxi. However, after testing the waters, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and Department of Environmental Quality say their results are inconclusive. 
According to MDEQ, the fish kill happened offshore and the tide brought in the menhaden, anchovy, hard-head catfish and crab. The majority of the dead fish are spread along the beach from Treasure Bay Casino east to Kuhn Street.
Over the past three days, MDEQ and MDMR agents have taken samples to determine what’s killing the fish. Their samples are not meeting the threshold to confirm it was an algae bloom.
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