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. myrtlemay

    Well, it's probably Mardi Gras fireworks that startled them & they flew into power lines...or, I'll wait for the next useless gummit explanation about oxygen deprivation that happens annually during an El Nino full moon or weather balloons or anything but the environmental & weather related phenomenon tied to the crap we dump in our oceans & spew into the air.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha

      yea yea that's the ticket LOL

      March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mother of four

      This has got to be the first time a comment on CNN has made me laugh. Thank you.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. noitall

    i no a few people who snagged sme dead birds i wonder if anyone got a sample of th fish?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDCyclist

      I'd be happy to run down to the harbor and grab a bucket 'o fish for you. What's your address? I'll have it shipped tonight...

      March 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chattykathie

    Too many people said "hold the anchovies."

    March 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    Quick! Somebody call Poppa Johns!!!

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


      March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rabulioni

      CAPS RAGE!!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDCyclist

      Alek, this is not an environmentally serious event. Relax. There are many reasons for why this happened, and they're all very natural explanations. When you build an unnatural harbor with a VERY small opening back to the ocean this kind of thing will happen. Have you been to the harbor? The opening to the ocean is extremely small. Poor planning by the city. They need to fix it.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anna

    Anyone remember the episode of Futurama where Fry has the last remaining tin of anchovies? Maybe they were onto something.......

    March 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sadie

      Hm, maybe...

      March 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      It's Zoidburg's fault.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rabulioni

      Props to any Futurama reference. Don't let it be canceled again, ever.

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

    if no one noticed the feds came and cleaned the birds up

    March 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • holdingmybreathe

      Yes they did.. didn't they... also they mummed up the fish in MD... can we all say X-Files 😀

      March 8, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hilo, HI

    another wake up call that will be largely ignored (sigh)

    March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LandO

    The thing I wonder while reading everyone's response, especially those blaming oil or an earthquake, is why are anchovies the only marine life affected/dead?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another One

      They aren't!! Please read up on the finding of mass amounts of dead fish, crabs, birds, etc. There are lots of differenent species affected and this isnt' the first regarding fish!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cthulhu

      My midnight snack...oh well I will wake soon enough to dine on 6+ Billion others.

      @AnotherOne, I am pretty sure he was asking why only anchovies THIS time

      March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Angel

    Disgusting that CNN would open an article about a possible environmental/ecological catastrophe with a glib & flippant remark. My respect for CNN as a "news" source just went down many notches.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      Angel is a stupid name. You are stupid.

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

      CNN went down to the bottom notch with thier coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith death.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gus

    It's the microwaves that are supplying all cell phones, iphones, and all the other electronic miracles. First the bees went, then the birds and fish. You don't think corporations are worried about the earth or the people, do you? Money, money, money. In due time the earth will take care of itself and flush itself clean of humans, if they aren't toasted first from radiation.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • MidtownMac


      March 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Microwaves are on the other end of the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves used for cellular transmissions. Neither microwaves nor radio waves have nothing to do with oxygen concentration the water. Nice try, though.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nancy in WA

    This is more than a tad disturbing, especially in light of massive casualities of other animal species of late. I worry about bioterrorism being tested. We're given really flaky explanations for the causes, too. I do hope there are some non-governmental types snagging samples and testing for what truly could be the source/cause.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MedicalStudent

      how come when scientific explanations are provided that people don't understand they're inevitably called "flaky" and conspiracy theories ensue

      March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calistus

      I share ur view, it seems someone is targeting gene sequence peculiar to certain species

      March 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy in WA

      MedicalStudent: I haven't heard any scientific explanations that make any sense, to me. This has not only happened here but in Europe (I can't remember which country). It's just really scary to me and sounds like something you'd see in a Hollywood end-of-days type movie rather than real life. Who's to say that scientific explanations aren't tied to governmental explanations. These animal deaths occur and nothing is given as much attention as I would like to see. Why no focus or close examination by the networks, local and national? I never mentioned conspiracy theory, but these occurrences are just too strange for me to chalk up to a hasty excuse/reason.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • ModernEarthling

      Medical Student: Conspiracy theories are easier to understand by the under-educated because they only require a minimal amount of science knowledge or a maximum amount of belief in weird things. Many of those making serious end of the world comments are the same who dismiss decades of solid scientific evidence for evolution. They believe in creationism because the WANT to believe in the idea that God created everything, even the big boat theory, or their entire Bible would be useless. What they don't understand is metaphor or allegory. If you ask them if they really believe every single living animal on this planet came from one big boat they will respond, "of course." Then ask them how many species of animals are on the planet and they haven't a clue. If they knew, they would understand that the story of Noah's ark is a metaphor. The story of God creating the heavens and earth is a metaphor. And so much more. It's best to let them believe and walk away. Being frustrated at them only makes their belief that much stronger. In time, say 100 years, most Americans will finally catch up to Europe and begin to shed those old myths and we can get moving on progressing the world towards a better educated and more empathetic human race. It'll take time. Let's not expect this progress to happen in our lifetime. Heck, remember we still have the Tea Party who can't even correctly spell their protest signs.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. WDinDallas


    March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Get Wisdom

    Hold the jokes, wake up, and get right with Jesus people. He is coming back soon. Check out Hosea 4:3 in the Bible regarding signs of the times. Signs of the times. This applies to California as well.

    Hosea 4:3
    Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
    For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
    Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
    Or knowledge of God in the land.
    There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery
    They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
    Therefore the land mourns,
    And everyone who lives in it languishes
    Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
    And also the fish of the sea disappear.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      There's 57 zillion fish in the ocean, people have murdered each other for ever, dinosaurs were real, and they were awesome. In 50 years when you are still alive I want you to think back to this moment where the end of the world was near.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Great now I have Pepsi coming out of my nose.. lol

      March 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      So let me get this right, fish died so Jesus is coming soon?:) You would have thought the dark ages, or the black death would have prompted that, not Anchovies. Your right wing fanatic lunatic Fundamentalists are fundamentally wrong about most everything.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahh


      March 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • eM

      OMG you are so stupid.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • HondaRhonda

      Jesus killed the anchovies? THAT is the big sign we should be watching for to signal the start of the apocalypse? ANCHOVIES?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrs.57

      @GetWisdom, as a daughter of Israel just wanted to say you hit the nail on the head, have patience and keep spreading the word. Every individual has to account before the Lord, no money, lawyers...just a one on one, so hopefully folks will get their acts together before its too late.

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

      Satan made computers so by typing your comment into CNN you are only damning yourself. Opps, guess you missed that part. Too bad, you are doomed

      March 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Newsome

      Sorry but Eric Clapton is God

      March 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      So Newsome, you are saying that Eric Clapton killed the anchovies? LOL

      Seriouosly folks, I am sure that there is some sort of rational explanation. Keep in mind that this JUST HAPPENED. No one has really had a chance to investigate.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cthulhu

      Its not jesus...its me thats coming forth.
      As long as one on land believes then jesus will no come to renew the faith.
      Quick, to have Jesus return all the christians should rush into the see like the lemmings they are.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. scotch

    And the birds of California rejoiced with the bounty their bird god had set before them.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS1

      the bird god huh... how much scotch you had today, scotch? keep on partyin.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jackie

    Now if they had just stayed in their little cans where they belonged...............................

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