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. Lets keep it real

    Call Todd Steiner,his beating the hell out of those oil company's for what they did to our oceans!From one who's loving life ,and picking up the pieces.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Colin Brown

    Test for methane. I suspect a methane bubble rippled up from a fracture in the ocean floor.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Most logical comment I have seen.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ken

    They were drugged by Californian's flushing their fluids down the toilet. Cocaine and heroin in the water!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lee Oates

    Don't worry, be happy. I am certain they all intentionally committed suicide to avoid ending up in a pizza.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny

    The fmailies of those dead fish should sue California for taking all their air out of the water leaving them none to breath. I'm sure they can find a Lawyer willing to take on the case. Something needs to be done on their behalf because something smell fishy here.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lets keep it real

    Jeff G, Yea you win again!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hopi

    Another prophecy fulfilled. As stewards of Mother Earth its easy to read into the signs that continue to present themselves.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cross

    Proof that Charlie Sheen is winning

    March 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe User

    Judging by the bulk of these comments, the human species is doomed. If only we could make the idiots who make these comments die off first, there might be a glimmer of hope for the rest...

    March 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bottom feeder

    I would kill myself if I had to live in CA too.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lets keep it real

    I know this seems little to some,but this really hurt God!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jimbo

    The way I see it is there is something going on here, either with the media or with the environment. Until this year I can't ever recall reading about abrubt mass animal deaths. The media told us that birds fall out of the sky dead all the time, ok then why report it like it's a big deal? They say fish die like this all the time, same thing, it never is reported until the last few months. So CNN, you leave us citizens who rely on you to give us the best information available wondering what is going on. Do you choose to report these stories all the sudden becuase they get attention? Do you report these stories becuase they actually are not that common and it is a big deal?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rick springfield

    quickly can them. Feed them to the section 8 programs in the greater Watts and East LA area.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    As a fisheries guy, this is something you see a lot, people. I have seen it twice as far back as 1990. It was oxygen depletion then too. There are several ways oxygen can be depleted from the water, from fast changes in water temperature, to a whole school of fish in a shallow area, to red tide, and a number of other reasons. Science, people. Not Armageddon!

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

      Did the birds that fell out of the sky run out of oxygen too?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DYBO

    The crabs will chow down on them when they drop to the bottom. Look at all the dead salmon rotting in the rivers at the end of their cycle. Their decomposition rebuilds the nutrients in the water for young hatchlings.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
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