Gallery: Millions of Dead Sardines Clog Redondo Beach Marina, Will be U...


In one of the week’s most bizarre stories, over a million sardines have turned up dead in Redondo Beach, clogging the King Harbor Marina and even preventing ships from leaving. The marina, located about 16 miles south-west of Los Angeles, has been declared the site of a public health hazard due to the hordes of dead fish. However the city is making the most of this unfortunate event, as it plans to turn the dead fish into fertilizer.

Photo © Hisa Fujimoto

We’re sure you’re all wondering how a million dead sardines ended up in the marina in the first place. Although it was a mystery at first, (and one that freaked out locals with the fish corpses piling as high as 18in (46cm) on the marina floor), scientists believe the event was a natural occurence. It is believed that the fish sought shelter from rough seas and exhausted the water’s oxygen supply, suffocating themselves.

The dead fish, which are estimated to amount to 150 tonnes, are beginning to decompose in the heat causing a serious public health threat. “We need to get rid of them,” Redondo Beach Police Sgt Phil Keenan said to the local Daily Breeze newspaper. “This is going to create a terrible pollution and public health issue if we don’t.”

As no traces of toxins or pollutants have been found, officials at the California Fish and Wildlife Department have said that it was “a naturally occurring, but unusual event.” As such, the fish are to be collected and turned into fertilizer.

Via BBC News

Lead photo © Tanaka Juuyoh


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  1. pncjansen March 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    The millions of sardines that were found floating dead in a Southern California marina this week tested positive for a powerful neurotoxin, researchers said Friday.
    Is there a connection with the “scientific research” at
    TESTING THE WATERS? Twelve small-scale experiments over the past decade in several ocean locations (red dots) consistently showed that intentional iron additions do result in phytoplankton blooms that help draw down carbon dioxide from the air. But the experiments have not determined how much carbon is transferred and sequestered in the deep sea, rather than quickly recycled back to the atmosphere. (From Philip Boyd, New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research)

  2. wells rawls March 10, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Great idea! Fish fertilizers are some of the best products for building soil health. It’s good to see a bad situation turned into something good. I hope they educate the public about the value of fish waste in agriculture.

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