March 8th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Millions of dead anchovies float to surface in Redondo Beach

Enough anchovies to top much of the world’s pizza and Caesar salads have floated lifelessly to the surface in Redondo Beach, California's King Harbor, according to a local newspaper.

Officials say millions of the pungent, oily fish are covering the sea bottom in the harbor. They began rising to the surface Tuesday morning, the Daily Breeze in Torrance, outside Los Angeles, reported.

“We need to get rid of them,” Sgt. Phil Keenan of the Redondo Beach Police Department told the paper. “This is going to create a terrible pollution and public health issue if we don't.”

Fire, police and public works officials have yet to cite a definite cause, but Keenan said the fish appear to have died from lack of oxygen.

There were no red tides (oxygen-depleting algae blooms) or other obvious phenomena that could have caused the mass deaths, the paper reported.

“Yesterday, everything looked absolutely normal,” Walter Waite, who lives at the harbor, told the newspaper. “This morning when I got up, there were millions and millions of them floating everywhere.”

The temperature in Southern California is expected to climb into the 70s Tuesday, exacerbating the urgency of removing the scads of 6-inch fish scattered throughout the harbor.

Read CNN's full coverage of the dead anchovies in a California harbor
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Filed under: Animals • California • Environment • Nature • U.S.
soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. DianeD

    I think they died as a result of the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Disaster!!! What is perplexing though, if you have been keeping up on these type of articles, there have been thousands of fish and birds that have recently died enmasse worldwide! It's weird in that it has been ongoing for some time and not really a lot of time passes between each reported incident. What concerns me is that our echosystem is collapsing (as seen through these incidents of birds, fish, etc. dying enmasse) and it affect the food chain of all living creatures on earth, including us!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Darn , u said it better girl

      March 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      It wasn't oil. Couple things to take into consideration... First, if it was oil, they'd figure it out very quickly. Secondly, these fish died suddenly, 2 million of them, if it was oil they would start showing up dead sporadically, not in the millions. And finally, look how far away the oil spill was away from California. They're thousands of miles apart and there's a ton of land between them, I don't think the oil is going to end up in the Pacific ocean too easily, as there's been no real reports of it hitting the west coast.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      who knows @ KRS1 , the Government could have found out this to be true , that the oil is causing this and took a bribe from the oil Co to keep quite, sounds like i'm shooting darts in the dark but stranger things have happened

      March 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Wow. The ignorance here is absolutely stunning. Do you really believe that an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico several months ago could have anything to do with the sudden deaths of anchovies off the coast of Southern California today? Seriously? Did you all fail basic biology and geology classes in high school? Good grief!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary

    I know this has happened before, but it seems like that these events are more frequent and closer together , can we say GULF OIL SPILL

    March 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      Can we say Mary is an idiot?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. herrsonic

    Too many people in the ocean who farted at the same time.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      If I laughed at that "joke" I don't think i could take myself seriously.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Actually, Mary, that comment is no more ridiculous than yours, blaming this on the Gulf oil spill.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MrMailman

    WHO EATS ANCHOVIES BESIDES MARINE LIFE........THATS CONNECTED TO THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.....THANKS ELTON JOHN

    March 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      if you put them in the pan they disolve and aren't so salty , very good u should try them some time

      March 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      I eat about a can of anchovies weekly and have for over 50 years. Love them on pizza, in salads, in fried bread dough, in antipasto, or just right out of the can with some cheddar cheese.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chris

    "drop some whales up on those" – corintians 16:98

    March 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. puprplepuppy

    Sounds like when I forget to change the water in the minnow bucket. This is going to happen all over in the worlds water bodies

    March 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Noahs.Secret

    No, what we need to get rid of, are the oil companies and deep sea drilling. I know this hurts people. I mean that would cut off your money supply and as long as you're making money..to hell with the rest of the planet.

    Yeah and since I've never seen a "live" anchovy... this can't be that tragic ...right? I mean it's not like watching thousands of dolphins or zillions of fish wash up on shore.

    With all of this drama unfolding, the media very faintly mentions the cause of all of this. The Gulf Oil Spill. Sadly the people are like little sheep, scared of the big bad wolf so they take a minuscule hand out from BP and go through life whining like a spoiled child.

    Hold BP responsible!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      It wasn't oil. Couple things to take into consideration... First, if it was oil, they'd figure it out very quickly. Secondly, these fish died suddenly, 2 million of them, if it was oil they would start showing up dead sporadically, not in the millions. And finally, look how far away the oil spill was away from California. They're thousands of miles apart and there's a ton of land between them, I don't think the oil is going to end up in the Pacific ocean too easily, as there's been no real reports of it hitting the west coast.

      IT WASNT OIL IT WASNT OIL IT WASNT OIL.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tommy

    Obviously this is the result of the Gulf oil spill.
    The hydrocarbons dissipated and were superheated by global warming as it circulated the globe.
    Damn you George Bush.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Reason & Logic

    I take issue with the reference that they are pungent. I love anchovies and it's too bad that more people do not have a taste for them because they are the 5th best fish source for Omega 3 fatty acids.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Quick, grab a pizza!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    I am sorry for those fish. RIP.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Cesar,

      Sardines have short, scary lives. This death is probably not worse than being chewed and eaten by a sea lion or other predator.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Edwin,

      Anchovies. Not sardines.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bloodyscot

    Likely in part to Earthquake off the coast of northern California and agricultural run off in southern California or possible a gas leak from sea floor. Seems strange to have only killed one type of fish and so many, maybe limited to very small area.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    We destroy the planet, and everything else with it. Humans are the problem, and all the things we are doing to destroy our own environment.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Rick McDaniel,

      While I agree that we are destroying the planet, mass animal deaths are not new. They occur naturally from time to time, even without the help of humans. This disaster may not be human-caused at all - or maybe it is. Don't jump to conclusions about the culprit too quickly.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dee8th

    OK, so global warming has an upside...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jacon

    It is interesting that the seagulls ARE NOT EATING THE FISH.

    Seagulls are scavengers and will eat just about anything BUT THEY ARE NOT EATING THESE FISH.

    Something is teribly wrong here folks.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Jacon,

      Local authorities think that is because the fish have already eaten tons of them, and are completely stuffed. But I agree that it could be something more sinister...

      March 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
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