Mar 10 2011

Millions of dead fish blanket Redondo’s King Harbor Marina

By Larry Altman, Torrance Daily Breeze Staff Writer
March 9, 2011

Millions of sardines created a massive stink and an even bigger cleanup effort in Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Marina on Tuesday after they swam inside overnight, became trapped and died.

Millions of sardines suffocated Tuesday night during windy storm that altered currents trapping them in King Harbor Marina where there was not enough oxygen in the water to sustain them. Photo by Brad Graverson.

Twelve to 18 inches of dead sardines blanketed the water’s bottom in Basin 1 off Marina Way. Another thick layer of dead fish coated the surface from the breakwall to the inner docks, surrounding boats and walkways.

Authorities with the California Department of Fish and Game, along with other ocean biologists at the scene, declared the mass death a natural event. The fish, they said, sucked every drop of oxygen from the water and couldn’t breathe.

“They are in every slip and every dock,” said Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan. “It’s a whole lot of fish.”

Hughan said authorities believe the huge school of sardines, perhaps blown in by the night’s 40-mph winds and crashing waves, swam into King Harbor and became disoriented.

Those who chose other basins were fine, but the schools that headed into Basin 1 “backed themselves into a corner” and were unable to find their way out, he said.

Read the rest of the story here.

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