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. Sayle

    The evidence is that we are truly ruining the earth. I am quite sure the one who designed the marvelous earth with all it's inhabitants is about to do a major clean up job. And then we will see the earth restored to it intended beauty! Left to humans we would eventually end life on earth for all.Our independent way of doing things has not worked. 2000 years ago John wrote under divine inspiration that mankind would be ruining the earth. (and that is what is happening now). (Rev 11:18) Our independent way doing things has not worked. Let God's precious Kingdom Come ! He truly knows best

    March 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. demonfeed

    Let me clear up a few things.

    First, this is not the end of the world.

    Second, this isn't a result of the 4.5 earthquake from a few days ago, the fish would have had to travel 400 miles southeast in the current, and it just isn't possible for this many to stay clumped up over that distance.

    Third, this is not a result of the nearby hypoxic zone, because the currents go southwards, not to the north. That zone is SOUTH of Redondo Beach.

    Fourth, this is an isolated fish kill. Since the predominantly dead species is the anchovy, it stands to reason that since they are represented in such great numbers in such a small area, the anchovies are responsible for the depletion of the local oxygen levels either due to either an inability or unwillingness to escape the lack of oxygen.

    If this was pollution, the above video would not have the marine mammal swimming around at the start of the video. The concentration of dead organisms and their combined intake of toxins would have spread throughout the local ecosystem.

    Don't turn this into too big of a deal. It is nice to speculate, but research your theory before you post it as a fact.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joe

    Only one species of fish decides to be affected by the drop in oxygen? Isn't this a large body of water?

    March 9, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chris Coffman

    I don't know why people keeping blaming this on a 'lack of oxygen'. Fish breath co2 and release oxygen through photosynthesis using those things on the sides of their face (fins).

    March 9, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • John thompsom

      Trees use co2. Not fish. Fish use o2 in he same manner that we as humans do. I can not form a moment understand how an adult can postulate that fish use co2 to breath. Theynhave this thing called college. You might want to look into it and perhaps attend a few classes. Are you really that stupid of did you not understand that co2 is a waste product of breathing? And we wonder why our children are sooooooooo stupid!

      March 9, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Davis

      LOL...Fish breath Co2....Now your telling us fish use tiny scuba tanks filled with Co2....Stupid us thinking all this time fish breathed oxygen from their gills.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. oldzoom

    I hate anchovies on pizza or anything else, they probably died from all the mexicans peeing and pooping in the water, plus others throwing trash in the water. I'm sure other speices will also die too. 🙁

    March 9, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. debbie

    I've read everyone's post here & have come to these conclusions:

    1. These scientists are offering ridiculous excuses & think we're all stupid
    2. California gets most of it's toxicity from China, air & water. And I'm convinced that China's toxic waste is to blame.
    3. Strange how 1 species has massive deaths, the black/red birds in Arkansas, now anchovies in Ca.
    4. The anchovie adapts well to any type of evnrionment, so this tells me it's lask of oxygen due to toxic waste.

    Is this the start of Armageddon? Maybe, maybe not, but these sudden deaths, war, famine, poverty, climate change, and earthquakes seem to be getting worse.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. John thompsom

    Sounds like Beth ayjian changed her underwear. Bad fish.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. freeTopping

    - Domino's truck seen in vicinity, hauling off fish in buckets...

    March 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. John thompsom

    Co2 is a waste product of normal reps. Fish do noy utilize it to breath you ditz!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. dan c

    I thought that pizza I had the other nite tasted funny

    March 9, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. cking

    March 9, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. anchovy

    Maybe the ocean was giving up anchovies for lent.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. ed bailey

    When the overwhelming reality of the sheer number of pure stupid idiots that exist in this country hits you,the acceptance of what is going to happen to your country has to happen.the government works on the premise that we are all turkeys that are concieved for one purpose.make their lives comfortable.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    At first I thought this was probably a combination of natural events like red tide, wind conditions and possibly predators corralling the anchovies into the bay. These types of natural events exaggerated by human activity like pollution, costal construction and possibly acid rain. Then some one that watches a lot of Fox News corrected me and informed me that no amount of human activity or pollution can ever have a negative effect on the weather or environment. Its 100% a natural event he said. Boy do I feel stupid.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. oneSTARman

    so...something SUDDENLY kills MILLIONS of Fish overnight. This in an area of Methane in the sub-sea rock. rock which breaks when about to break off and move to Canada.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
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