Archive | Marine Life RSS for this section

Mass die off of fish, birds, manatees, shark and other marine life due to red tide in Florida, USA

Florida’s southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with wildlife, has become a red tide slaughterhouse this summer.

Dead fish by the thousands have clogged inlets and canals. Since Sunday, 10 dead Goliath grouper, the massive reef fish that can live four decades or more, have floated to the surface. At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season. And Tuesday, as hundreds of residents packed a standing-room-only Cape Coral yacht club to hear about the federal government’s efforts to deal with water conditions, a dead manatee washed up at a nearby boat ramp.

The list goes on: earlier this month the carcass of a whale shark was found on a Sanibel beach with red tide in its muscles, liver, intestines and stomach. Hundreds of double-breasted cormorants, brown pelicans and other seabirds have been sickened or died.

Coupled with a massive blue-green algae bloom that spread across Lake Okeechobee and snaked down the Caloosahatchee River in June, the dire conditions have infuriated businesses and residents, and drawn national attention to the normally quiet tourist towns.

“This is horrific what we’re enduring now, but it needs to be a wake-up call to people that clean water is important to more than just wildlife,” said Heather Barron, a veterinarian and research director at Sanibel’s CROW Clinic wildlife rescue center, which began treating poisoned birds as early as October. “As the person dealing with all these hundreds of dying animals, I’m upset.”

Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead fish, manatees, sea turtles, eels and other marine life wash up in Boca Grande, Florida, USA

Charter boat captain Chris Oneill videotaped those dead manatees, Tuesday, and posted the video to his Facebook page. The video has since been viewed more than a million times and drawn attention to the area’s fish kills.

“I haven’t been able to fish for a week, since mid-last week, because fish started dying and we’re not going to take people out here and subject them to these conditions because there are potential health concerns as well,” Oneill said.

Hundreds of dead fish were crowding Boca Grande’s coastline. Maggots were seen eating the rotting fish, which were emitting a strong odor.

Oneill counted more than 40 endangered Goliath Groupers washed up on the beach this week, ranging from 10 pounds to 400 pounds.

“Black grouper, gag grouper, red grouper, trout, eel, puffer fish, everything you could imagine is right here in this weed line that’s washed up the last couple days,” he said as he pointed out the rotting fish.

Guests were also frustrated by the fish kills. The beach was mostly empty, Wednesday, with the exception of a couple of visitors who were checking out the dead fish for themselves.

“We’ve been hanging out at the pool because… look, there’s no one hanging out at the beach. It’s terrible,” said one visitor. “We have another family vacation planned without kids in August and we’re not sure we’re going to come. If there’s red ride, we’re definitely not coming.”

The fish kills come as the National Weather Service issued beach hazards statements for red tide for coastal northern Lee County and coastal Sarasota County.

Captain Oneill is not sure what is causing the red tide, but notes after Lake Okeechobee water releases, Southwest Florida’s coasts regularly have fish kills.

“I can’t put my finger on what exactly the problem is, but I can certainly tell you any time they dump that lake, and the discharge comes out of the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, within a week we start seeing significant kills along our shorelines here in Southwest Florida,” he said. “It’s sad to see that so much death is happening. I’ve only been here 15 years, and year after year I see things like this. This is the worst I’ve seen, and I’ve yet to see anyone out here assessing the problem or trying to figure it out.”

Courtesy of

Hundreds of dead fish and other marine life found floating in the river Halda in Bangladesh

Fish Kill Alert

Hundreds of dead fish of different species, and other aquatic animals have been found floating in the river Halda for the last couple of days.

The dead fish are posing a serious threat to the aquatic biodiversity of Bangladesh’s largest natural breeding ground for carp.

According to the Department of Fisheries lab, the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) went below 1mg per litre on an average against the required level of at least 5mg per litre.

According to the District Fisheries Office, the level of dissolved oxygen was found low in the two feeder canals of the river. In some points, the level of ammonia was found to be 0.5-1.5ppm against the tolerable limit of 0.01ppm.

The high concentration of ammonia in water makes it difficult for aquatic organisms to sufficiently excrete the toxicant, leading to toxic build-up in internal tissues and blood, which leads to their death.

Humans need air to breathe, and the aquatic organisms need dissolved oxygen to respire. It is necessary for the survival of fish, invertebrates, bacteria, and underwater plants. Dissolved oxygen is also needed for the decomposition of organic matter.

Locals said the water of Halda River turned pitch-black on June 20, spreading the rotten stench of dead fish.

Following the matter, the locals formed a human chain at Madunaghat area on June 23, demanding that the river be saved from industrial pollution.

Courtesy of

Thousands Of Sharks, Other Sea Life Mysteriously Die In San Francisco Bay, USA

As many as 2,000 leopard sharks have mysteriously died in the San Francisco Bay over the past few months. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says determining the cause is not a priority for the state since the sharks are not threatened or endangered, however, scientists say additional research and resources are crucial since the threat is now believed to be preying on other marine life.
“This year is unusual in that there has been a large number of other species that have also been dying,” said Dr. Mark Okihiro, a research scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This pathogen can tackle a variety of different species … we’ve had a much more diverse group of fish that have been found dead in the San Francisco Bay.”
At least 500 bat rays, hundreds of striped bass, 50 smooth-hound sharks and about 100 halibut died in the bay between February and July, according to Okihiro’s estimates.
Courtesy of

Thousands of dead fish and marine animals washing up along the coast of Maharashtra, India

Fish and other marine life have been washing up on the country’s west coast for the past three days, leaving marine biologists baffled.
ReefWatch Marine Conservation, a nature conservancy group, said they have reports of fish, crabs and shrimp getting stranded on the coast near Alibaug in Maharashtra, Karwar in Karnataka and Varkala in Kerala between Saturday and Tuesday. The group said it received images and videos from volunteers that indicate the cause of the marine deaths could be similar. “There are two possible reasons we are looking at — low oxygen zones at sea pushing these organisms close to the shore or severe toxicity in the water. However, only a detailed study can reveal the exact cause,” said Nayantara Jain, executive director, ReefWatch Marine Conservation.
The Maharashtra Maritime Board said the deaths were a matter of concern. “We have never seen lakhs of fish species washing ashore at different beaches along the entire west coast,” said Atul Patne, chief executive officer, MMB
After collecting samples from the dead marine organisms that have washed up along India’s west coast, marine biologists have ruled out pollution as the cause of the deaths.
“The changing weather patterns, changes in temperature and several other hydrological factors leads to such incidents. However, we are certain that there is nothing to worry about and no alerts have been issued by us,” said an official from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). “A report will be published by us by the end of this week, and it will be submitted to the district collector and the state government.”
Officials from the state mangrove cell that has setup marine rescue centres along the Maharashtra coast said that pollution can be ruled out, since incidents have been reported all along the western coast and it is not confined to an algal bloom, which is a localised pollution problem. Nutrients in pollutants can trigger algal blooms which can lead to depletion of oxygen in water, leading to death of marine organisms.
N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell, said that the incidents could have been caused due to combination of factors like rains and changes in water temperature. “Once the monsoon starts retreating, the lower most layer of the water comes up carrying nutrients. The process is also associated with shifts in temperatures between surface and deep waters,” he said. “Upwelling also leads to the formation of low oxygen zones, and this forces fish and other marine life to move closer to shallow waters. Wave action close to the shoreline further pushes these species to the beach where they get stranded.”
Some experts, however, did not rule out pollution. “Previous evidence of so many species washing ashore has been because of low oxygen in the water due to algal blooms caused by severe water pollution. This can be the probable cause for this as well. It has to be observed whether there is a change in the colour of the water to establish this,” said E Vivekanandan, consultant and senior scientist, CMFRI.
“Pollution cannot be ruled out and it could be a major factor as these areas (Alibaug, Karwar and Varkala) are all located close to offshore oilfields, and also are a major route for movement of ships,” said Dr Baban Ingole, chief scientist, National Institute of Oceanography.
Vasudevan added that CMFRI has been instructed to study the gills of the marine mammals to check for pollution and the cell will take further action based on their report.
Courtesy of

Massive die off of marine life is ‘unprecedented’ off the Gulf coast of Texas, USA

NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary announced Monday that an unprecedented mass mortality event is taking place at the East Flower Garden Bank.
“We have been able to boast about our extraordinarily high coral cover, healthy beautiful reefs up until now,” officials said in a statement. “This is a game changer. Recreational divers on board the MV FLING reported that they were experiencing very low visibility hazy water on buoy #4 at EFGB to us (we were on buoy #2 conducting long-term monitoring with BOEM), as well as hundreds of dead corals, sponges, brittle stars, sea urchins, and mollusks.”
The event is being investigated by FGBNMS and partners.
West Flower Garden Bank, 12 miles away, appears to be bathed in clear blue water and is not impacted, officials said.
“We have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of concern, suggestions, advice, and offers for help from around the globe,” the statement said.
Courtesy of

20 turtles and other marine animals wash up dead in Santa Rosalia, Mexico

turtle mortality santa rosalia
Recently, a number of social network users have shown images which are seen to dead sea turtles on beaches of Santa Rosalia, municipality of Mulege, some are “aboyando” on the banks and other state critical, about to die, so make an urgent appeal to the authorities to take action on the matter.
The Sudcaliorniano reports that fishermen and even swimmers, have witnessed the death of turtles, and some have shown videos where at various points of the beaches from Santa Maria to Playas Negras and waters of El Morro, and even in the path island San Marcos – San Bruno, where knowledge that between 15 and 20 copies of turtles floating dead in the water was.
what kind of turtle species is unknown causes are those that are dying, and; even under this environment, users themselves have also shared pictures of birds, pigeons and gulls dead, and realize a plague of sulfur in these areas.
Meanwhile, Voice of Mulege documents the case of a dead sea turtle, about 40 kilos, beachfront restaurant Selene in Santa Rosalia, the photo is Monday, around 17:30 hours; by this means, staff of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) are in this municipal seat investigating the causes of this phenomenon, ensuring that it has already released at least 20 cases.
According to this medium, it has been found dead turtles on the beach Santa Maria north of Santa Rosalia; on the beach Sneak peak; dead on the shore of the sea wall; and 10 more in Los Frailes, among others;   and other species lifeless as a sea lion on the island of San Marcos; a whale in the estuary of the ejido San Lucas, and another on the beach in Punta Chivato.
Courtesy of

5 dolphins, plus other marine animals found dead on beaches in San Bernardo del Viento, Colombia

The animals were found last Sunday by volunteers of the Civil Defence, in an area of beaches ranging from the Ye to dairy farms of the Caribbean in San Bernardo de el Viento.
The director of Civil Defense in Córdoba greater Raul Gomez, said that aside from the dolphins they also found lifeless several gulls, sea urchins, a fish balloon and dozens of Portuguese frigates at the edge of the beach.
He added that the massive presence of jellyfish in the coasts has increased the number of injuries to bathers who came during the Easter season.
In turn, Rafael Espinoza, biologist of the Corporación Autónoma Regional of the valleys of Sinú and San Jorge CVS, said they are investigating if the dolphins died as a consequence of a virus that would be affecting several species to aquatic or if they fell in trammel nets that used fishing boats.
Courtesy of