Millions of Sardines Dead in California

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Millions of dead sardines were found floating in a Southern California marina on Tuesday, March 8. The fish were killed as a result of oxygen deprivation, according to the California Department of Fish & Game.


Corpses of the small silvery fish were a foot deep around the boats at King Harbor Marina in Redondo Beach. The clean-up efforts will take several days, with boats removing the fish with nets.

It?s believed that rough waters caused by strong winds led the fish to seek out calmer waters in the harbor. The sheer number of fish, and lack of space in the waters around the docks, caused the oxygen in the water to drop to a fatal level.

Officials believe the sardines that entered the harbor were part of a larger school of fish that had been in the area. The rest of the school was alive and well in the mouth of the harbor, meaning that a chemical or oil sheen is not responsible for the deaths.


A necropsy and chemical analysis will be conducted on some of the dead fish as a precautionary measure. Clean-up crews were originally moving the dead fish into the open ocean to let them decompose naturally, but are now removing the fish and taking them to be recycled for fertilizer.

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