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)


    March 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelangelo

      I can't dude. Not without the anchovies.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ekrit

    Anchovies feed tuna and other food fish. This could be serious

    March 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Perhaps, or perhaps not. Mass deaths do occur from time to time in animal populations. Anchovies may be in such abundance that this sort of local phenomenon does not cause undue harm to the ecosystem.

      I was going to add - if this posed a significant stress to the ecosystem then that fact would have been reported too - but then I realized this is CNN, and they are not always quick to gather all pertinent information...

      March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • svscnn

      I suspect mass suicide due to pizza envy.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robear in Ojai

      Maybe what we need is a massive reduction of the human population... to cut on the pollution and habitat destruction that is killing everything else!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaqb0x

      @Robear in Ojai

      Don't Worry. The Republicans are working on that...

      March 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • demonfeed

      Imagine 1 million fish. Now imagine how much oxygen one fish needs. Now multiply that by 1 million. Now put them all in a shallow water, and those fish will VERY rapidly deplete the oxygen content of the water. The fish kills in Louisiana and the New England coast were both attributed to that EXACT same phenomenon.

      Sharks that prey on the anchovies chase them into shallow water so the schools don't have room to maneuver. Other aquatic predators do the same thing. This is not uncommon at all. If you had enough predators chasing enough anchovies inland, you would easily get this kind of fish kill.

      But, I bet you $500 dollars that anchovies aren't the only thing dying. If the oxygen content in the water is rapidly depleted, the crabs and other species of fish would be dead too. Check the ocean floor... I bet it is LITTERED with dead member of the local aquatic ecosystem.

      Really, this is ABSOLUTELY BASIC Biology. Too many people in a small room, and it gets stuffy, doesn't it? Thats because everyone is sucking more oxygen than is coming in. If you get a room full of people that are breathing more oxygen than the local area is renewing, and they suffocate and die. This is the exact same principle.

      And yet, even though this is absolutely basic knowledge, I have read dozens of comments on here attributing this to the end of the world. This has happened throughout the history of life on earth, FAR before humans ever entered the scene.

      It is even speculated that starfish were so successful at one point in time they caused a nearly world-wide fish kill and set back evolution by hundreds of thousands of years.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Flash

    There were no red tides (oxygen-depleting algae blooms) or other phenomena that could have caused the mass deaths, the paper reported. – must be an act of god then since whoever made this statement has surely taken lots of data to back this stupiid comment up.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • raytseng

      At least quote the article correctly:

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

      March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • T. Lee

      ~ Birds falling dead from the sky
      ~ Anchoveies floating to the surface dead

      ~ It's the end of the world as we know it
      ~ It's the end of the world as we know it and I'm feeling fine

      ~ REM

      March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mikey B

    I heard Papa John's, Pizza Hut, and Dominos stock just went up!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thank the Real Men

      you mean down.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hughes

      No... he definitely meant up!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • digginestdogg

      He meant belly up.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. what is reallly going on...

    For months now... thousands, millions of sudden mass fish and bird kills happening all over the world. The ting that unsettles me is that there is really never a determination of whats causing it. whether its a few thousand black birds and hundred thosand drum fish in Arkansas, or 2 million fish in Maryland.... fish and birds just droping dead and science is slow figuring it out.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      There was a 4.5 earthquake off the coast of northern California two days ago. The ocean currents off the coast of California would've brought these fish south of where the earthquake occured. Google "ocean currents" and "earthquakes today." You can see a map on the earthquakes today website. If you do a little research on mass animal deaths, you will see there is some correlation. 107 pilot whales washed up just a few hours before the recent New Zealand quake.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      it's not that they're slow.They don't want us to know.

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

      You should really should check www wecanknow com

      It's not coincidentally that these things are happening and no one care and everyone continues as normal

      March 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      A Warning: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36 However, God did say He would send us signs. I would be leery of declaring that May 21st is that particular day. The signs are here, but we should be ready on any day.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • onthewildedge

      Quote: "A Warning: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36"

      How can the son not know if the father is supposedly actually the son in the Trinity?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Aww dudes, shut up, the earth is fine.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Void

      Oh good, here comes the parade of doomsdayers. You react like cattle to thunder, only instead of having the decency to simply "moo" and huddle under some structure, you feel the need to frantically dash about and stuff the pockets of sensible people with your pamphlets and tracts.
      Don't worry, you're free to scurry around and weep while science takes care of you. Business as usual.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Science takes time, they work on how long it takes to get it done, now how long the conspiracy theorists think it should take. They have to culture bacteria in labs and that takes time. Almost all of the stories have now been explained. This happens every year, it's just the internet and the social networks have brought them to the surface!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • lookaroundyou

      Most people are totally oblivious to what is going on around the world. They just care about the latest sports scores, music, movies, and the like. There is plenty of evidence now that the food chain has been disrupted in several locations on the planet. Now that it has rippled up to fish, birds, amphibiams, and mammals, many of these same people are just choosing to ignore it. Well, perhaps when their grocery stores are no longer stocked, they will wake up and smell the roses.
      There is an old saying about just two words that define the difference between civilization and chaos. "Seven meals". If you don't believe this, thry not eating for a week and see what your priorities are. Will it be sport scores or where your next meal is coming from? Think about it...

      March 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |


    March 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chase

      Funny you should say that, did anyone else notice the seagulls didn't seem to be touching them?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aubrie

      the article mentioned they were littering the sea floor for a few days and then started floating up.. I guess they're rotted by now and the gulls prefer fresh....

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

      Give it to us raw and wrigling; you keep nasty chips!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Just charge the anchovies 'ocean view tax'. That's how Redondo/Manhattan Beach got rid of their old people who owned the most charming cottages you ever did see along those beaches 'till the developers came to town. Ocean view tax. Ain't that a hoot.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aubrie

      That is truly abuse and a sin, and also happening along the Texas coast now.... Darn shame....

      March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      I grew up in that area. I used to rent one of those charming cottages from and old retired couple, and that tax forced them to sell to a developer who put in high rise condos. I was so bummed, not only because my son and I loved that little cottage, but because that couple were the best landlords ever. Glad I'm not there now, though, as you can probably smell those dead fish from those fancy condos.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heywood Jablome

      I guess the old couple couldn't compete with the campaign contributions that the corporations/developers can. It's such a shame to watch the slow-motion sellout/corporatization of this entire country. With the SCOTUS decisions on Eminant Domain and Campaign Contributions our generation has sealed our fate.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Franco

    So here we have news, not so alarming, just dead fish and you ask yourself how does this affect my daily life? Most likely it doesn't have any significant impact on your day to day agenda, but I should say whoever is not putting two and two together and observing these patterns occurring is clearly blind. There is correlation, negative correlation. My point is can people really be that daft as to expect to simply just ignore these things?

    March 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Einstein's other brother

      what things?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Correlation does not equal causation.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. strangel00p

    Yes, folks, another reminder that global climate disruption is here and the fun is only just beginning.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Ah yes, taking a drink from the anchovie kool-aid!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Repent America

    For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. Ecclesiates 9:12

    March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • yalesouth

      DO you really think this is the frist time in history something like this has happened? Through over 3 billion years of occupying the earth, I am sure mankind has witnessed all sorts of bizarre occurrences and disasters, and each time, there prob was someoen present to say its the end of times/ or its because mankind is evil. Maybe it is the end, but lets face it, you do not know, neither do I.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Warning

      Perhaps you should check

      www wecanknow com you might learn a lot and prayerfully, save yourself from the wrath to come

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

      Hey idiot with the website, if it really is the end, not much anyone can do about it. Stop spreading propaganda.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    Can they scoop them off the top and mulch them into compose? Or do they have to wait to see what they died of?

    March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric in Colorado

    Bet it is related to agricultural run off. The coast off of California is as poisoned as that of the gulf of Mexico. Not to mention the spraying of insecticides which have potential links to current ailments. But corporatism rules, and the people who consume the products suffer.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Eric, perhaps you've been breathing that thin mountain air a little too long, but please try thinking a bit before you post. Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion. Or in this case, your fingers.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      I agree with Shane and Denizen!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DLR

    Just one more reason why everyone needs read: "HE'LL IS AN AWFULLY BIG CITY"

    March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CWJ

    Kinda odd

    March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spaz

      Thanks for taking the time to fill in your name and email address to waste 4 inches of comment space for your absolutely pointless 2 word thought on this article. It's obvious we were all sitting here waiting to read what you think about the matter. Praise Jebus you blessed us with this wonderful miracle.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • justmy2

      Not to worry, I'm sure there will be some expert or another who will come forward to explain why this is a completely natural phenomena of some kind, and that the future for mankind remains as bright and full of promise as it has always been. Just like the other recent unexplained fish and bird deaths, completely natural, I'm sure......

      March 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KRS1

    Lectivus 19:44
    When thine oceans and seas run dry of anchovies the four horseman shall summon evil and reign terror over man; Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo will stride in with fury and make man pay for it's evil sins.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      Leviticus doesn't have a verse 44. I'd like to read it, if you can double check the verse number. Thanks.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      And he will knoweth thine name and will smite thee in an angry vengeance for thine transgressions.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Idiot

      @Thinking7, you need to think a little harder. Turn on your sarcasm circuits. I was going to post a comment about the fifth horseman of the apocalypse being a dead anchovie, but it looks like KRS1 beat me to the theme.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      American Idiot – Maybe you did not get my sarcasm either?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Since when are Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo, four Renaissance era artists, mentioned in the bible? Is this a new version of Leviticus?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      Denizen, you should check out the inscriptions written by a great biblical scribe named master splinter.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
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