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. chris

    Extra Anchovies!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Grinning

    stop talking about dead fish smell –
    you're turning charlie on and he won't pay attention to me

    March 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ironchef

    throw in some rice, shrimp, and links and let's talk business

    March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. noitall

    we must first examine the things all these mass deaths have in comman. start with any large industry local in the area within 20 mi. next look at weather or any natural events local and finally haarp instilations can be to blame for all the weather,deaths, and earthquakes. may not be intentional but an adverse side affect. with alittle research on google i bet someone can figure this out at home good luck

    March 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sak

    Does any scientist or marine biologist know why the birds or other mammals aren't eating the dead fish????

    March 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. zero73

    Hmmm... there is an underlying issue with the dead anchovies. If a significant amount of them die off it could impact the food chain as fish like tuna eat the anchovies.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert Cogan

    If not toxic, quick, call in catfood companies!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Francesco

      Why do you have to have it by Monday? Is there a reason you can't catonct the company who holds your loan and pay it back when you actually have the money so you don't have to borrow anything?If you take out a cash advance many times there are fees and no grace period on the interest. You need to talk all of that into account before you take it out.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rick

    crap.. I was gonna go to Redondo Beach this weekend. Guess I'll stay in San Pedro

    March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      I'd stick with Redondo Beach in all honesty.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jobe

    it's a good day to be a bird!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. notthatagain

    Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads.
    Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, yum.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Its just about pizza.. No big deal.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coinneach

      I took a fish head out to see a movie / didn't have to pay to get it in

      March 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      I know under all the unoriginal cynicism you guys are really worried if you are going to perish in a fiery chasm of lava while enduring an allergic reaction to bee stings, whichever comes first.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Apocalypse

      HERE I COME!!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeachAman

      Roly poly fish heads are never seen drinking cappucino in Italian resturants, with oriental women, yeah...

      March 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minos

      My son just asked me about the "End of Days". He asked me whether or not all the crazy talk from his fundamentalist Aunt was true or not. I told him that as far back as the first generation of Christians, there's been a sense that the End Times were near. He asked me why after 2000 plus years of folks predicting the end of the world (and getting it wrong) that people didn't realize we really have no idea exactly when it will happen? He made the obervation that eventually these doom sayers will get it right, even if that is 10 years from now or another several million years away. Funny how a 7 year old can figure this out and people like his 40 year old Aunt can't rub two neurons together to see how stupid they come across even to a second grader. Each generation, several hundred of them one after the other, all recognized the "unmistakable signs" (wars, rumors of wars, dead birds, dead fish, famines, earthquakes, Nero, Obama, Sheen, Bieber) . But I think these May 21st, 2011 cultists might be onto something, or at least on something. The date just feels right to me. Not like December 31st, 1999. Almost fell for that one until Prince put his spin on things.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. noitall

    there are probably 100 million of these fish. this was most likley a large school that was affected.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Really? You think it may have been a large school?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I'm pleased that CNN took the time to make light of this issue with Pizza jokes. Now I know we can all relax. Thanks!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • bresson

      Sounds like you went to a large school.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff G

      we are killing this planet. Why!!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Nah, just LA

      March 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Janice

    Two possibilities.. something drew them into the harbor, or something drove them in. These fish are the natural prey of schools of tuna, and as such cause concern for the well being of these and other species that feed upon them. That they would deplete the oxygen supply there and not move out is extremely troubling. There are many more questions than there are answers. The number of mass die offs without explanation is also troubling.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • EuphoricCrest

      @Janice The oxygen depletion was not caused by the anchovies. And it is more likely that they died out at sea and were washed ashore by the tide, not "driven" into the harbor to die.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrs.57

      We have to stop looking at these incidents as individual freak happenings-there must be severe pollution issues, either the BP mess is having repercutions or we've screwed up somewhere in the life chain...what a surprise considering how humans slash and burn everywhere they go.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Someone let JAWS loose!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Don't worry. It's just Los Angeles.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles

      mrs.57, please don't blame BP for all environmental problems. they made a mess in the Gulf, off the coast of Lousiiana. this is happening in California. take a look at the map. if you're going to make a comment, please know what you are talking about.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Indeed, it's all very troubling. The good news though, is that General Motors is about ready to announce the new line of SUPER HEAVY DUTY Trucks for 2012!!! These massive trucks mean serious business, and will let you commute to work in style and comfort! Make your neighbors green with envy when you park a brand new 2012 SUPER HEAVY DUTY Chevy in your driveway!

      March 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      EuphoricCrest, you hit the nail on the head. A bit southwest is a known hypoxic zone, perhaps some mixing brought the oxygen depleted water in where that large school was, then wind and tide did the rest...

      March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • demonfeed

      How would the oil in the Gulf of Mexico cross the landmass of Mexico and get to California? (I can smell the immigration jokes already)

      March 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • demonfeed

      Checking out a map of the area, and with just the topography I can get from the maps, Redondo looks like a place where the currents passing southwards from Malibu look like they would hit Redondo Beach head on. The recent 4.5 earthquake was too far the the north and west to be responsible for this, unless it is releasing methane or something into the currents. IF that were true, there would be alot more dead species. I looked up the other, recent earthquakes, and nothing appears to be close enough to effect the area.

      If the 4.5 did have something to do with it, that means these fish floated 400 miles in 2 days, which I think is highly unlikely, even if they were in the current. They would be getting dumped all over the west coast, but this appears isolated to Redondo Beach.

      I stand by the anchovies being the cause of the oxygen depletion. They probably got pushed inward either by a current shift, predators, or maybe algae nearby that prevented them from going out to sea. Or, there was something at Redondo Beach that attracted them. Without detailed data of the local currents and tides, I can't say anymore than that.

      March 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Newsome

    To me this is alarming. We have many animals dying in droves. The last we heard of was many different bird species.Then we are told it is normal. If we humans don't clean up our act with pollution we might be next no matter what greedy corporations want us to beleive

    March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMissal

      This has nothing to do with pollution....research HAARP.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      In the words of George Carlin, "The world is fine. The people are f*****." Your comment is evidence of this.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Surfs up dudes and dudettes!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • freaked

      no kidding. is this a prelude to 2012?

      March 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Newsome

      Yes sure people have nothing to do with the decline of wildlife.No I am not into 2012 or anything being pre determined.Pollution has everything to do with our world

      March 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Yeah, HAARP most CERTAINLY causes flatulence or something!
      After all, a pencil sized hole in the ozone layer and excitation of the ionosphere will cause all manner of things to happen.
      Why, one can even get a little extra range out of one's radio transmissions!
      Obviously that has SO much to do with fish suffocating!
      Damned dolt!

      March 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    IIs there a 'Fish Rights' group? They should be cleaning this up.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ModernEarthling

      What color ribbons should we wear?

      March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shneeky

    Hopefully the gulls and perhaps seals will start gobbling them up, otherwise it's going to stink all the way down here to San Diego and we don't need that! ha ha

    March 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
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