These mysterious fishes, sought by fishermen, are dying by the thousands
Sean Ardley stashed this in Cray Nature
God, I'm good at writing spammy headlines
Not sure why all these fish died...
Without question, the Monterey Bay has been alive for weeks with an abundance of life. And from throngs of humpback whales to Alfred Hitchcock-level flocks of birds, a primary reason is epic schools of anchovies that help form the bottom of the marine food chain.
But when the conditions are right and those anchovies take a fateful turn into the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, they can trigger a widespread die-off. That was the case Saturday morning, when the return of an infrequent but not atypical phenomenon briefly brought harbor paddling and boating activity to a halt.
"It was a die-off and it was an inconvenience, and it could have been much worse," Port Director Lisa Ekers said.
Four massive anchovy kills have been documented in harbor history: in 1964, 1974, 1980 and 1984. Each one forced the removal of 1,000 to 2,000 tons of stinky fish, and the Port District has been after solutions for more than a decade.
It installed 30 aerators to replenish closely monitored oxygen levels in the water (when activated, they essentially turn the harbor into a giant fish tank). And Ekers noted conditions have to be right -- large numbers of fish, little tidal action or wind and a hot sun -- for the population to collapse.
"Normally fish can swim in and out of here," Ekers said. "This one was unusual in that it wasn't that large of a school, and it died off suddenly."
They just spontaneously died because weather conditions turned unfavorable?
The article makes it look like typically they cram in too tight and breathe all the oxygen and pass out, but this time there weren't so many so it's kind of a mystery. Hence my mystery headline. Also it's not a very scientifically-oriented article, hence my pseudosciency headline :)
Well then your headline really nails it. I wonder if there's a fish detective who can take up the case?
See the fish / Be the fish.