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. LMD

    You can take the anchovies off the pizza, but you can *never* get the anchovies off the pizza...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    It's the end of the world as we know it! Break out your foil hats, men! The crazies are gonna be out in force again!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • frankisokmikesuks

      @ American Idiot – I don't know, if I start seeing the truth and not just the opinions of tools and idiots, I'll let ya know if it hurts.

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

      American Idiot > Frank

      March 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NaVyChIeF

    I bet it has to do with Navy ships off of the Pacific coast operating their Sonar.......

    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. what is reallly going on...

    ...and even the sea-gulls ain't touchin' em....

    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 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 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      You are probably correct on what killed them. Undersea earthquakes open up deep sea fissures which spew noxious gasses and displace the oxygen in the water.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      Reason & Logic – I was wondering if anyone else who had read this article had been putting these things together. I'm not a scientist by trade, but I am a researcher and it is blowing my mind that the scientific community is not telling us the things we need to know.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rachel Douglas

    what a great opportunity to turn the anchovies into fertilizer for farmers, like lemons into lemonade!!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Idiot

      Or hooves into Jello.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Cosby

      Gee American Idiot, who shat in your pudding this afternoon?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Idiot

      And that's why Bill Cosby is the King of Comedy!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    I see our march to extinction continues unabated...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Really? You're an anchovy? How do you march?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jump - or be jumped.

      No no, he's a lemming.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Idiot

      I'd rather be jumped. Less honorable, perhaps, but more exciting.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Arlon

    Maybe some sort of fish-borne disease wiped them out. If it was something that spreads rapidly within the body of the fish, it would make sense. Especially since fish like anchovies travel in large schools, it would spread like wildfire, since they're so close to each other...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rupert

    Are these not bait fish? I would be freezing whole blocks of these things.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KCO122568

    I can't wait to hear the explanation for this one! Maybe they got confused and ran into rocks in the middle of the night and bumped their heads and drowned.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OK

    It eas very windy last nite Think they just missed that red tide

    March 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TOM

    Save the KRILL! Antarica is now being plundered for its precious krill. Soon we will all suffer from people raping and damaging the food chain. Stop the insanity before it is too late.

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

      Amen, brother.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nostradamus

    I'm betting that Charlie Sheen had something to do with this fish kill.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snarlie Cheen


      March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aezel

    I hope there are enough pizzas around to accomodate all these anchovies.

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

    If it's natural just let nature take care of them. Birds, other fish etc will enjoy the feast.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Easy for you to say, you don't live there. Can't you imagine the smell? Besides, most birds and fish prefer their food fresh, meaning still alive. Check the video again. Non of those gulls are diving for those dead fish.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
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