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Dead fish in California marina decay: Dead anchovies stink simmering in the sun

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Dead fish are floating in the waters off Marina Del Rey and the stink is unbearable as the dead fish decay. These dead fish, which are mostly anchovies, cast a silver hue to the water and it's not a pretty sight. Why did thousands of fish die and float to shore all at once?

According to KTLA News on May 19, no one is sure why these thousands of fish have met their demise, but some theories have evolved. The fish started to wash up in the corner of the marina on Saturday, which is an area of the marina near Bora Bora Way. The top theory is that the fish became to plentiful in one area of the water and used up all the oxygen, which caused their own suffocation.

The huge amount of dead fish floating on the water prompted a clean-up on Sunday. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors estimate 3,000 to 4,000 fish carcasses were removed, but more appeared. The clean-up effort is over and the thousands of remaining fish will either be eaten by natural predators or hopefully float back out to sea and disperse, according to NBC Local News.

Lisa Lascody who lives in the area said to the media, “There’s like a million dead anchovies floating around, as well as other fish.” She calls this event “creepy and weird.”

One of the theories of this fish die-off is that there were so many, that the fish depleted all the oxygen in the area of the water where they congregated. The anchovies came in and the other fish followed saturating the marina and taking up all the oxygen in the water, this theory is offered by a marine expert.

Eric Martin, the facility director and educational co-director of Roundhouse Aquarium, which is a marine studies lab in Manhattan Beach that teaches about the ocean and marine life, explained why he believes the fish are dead and in this area:

"The currents in here… it gets trapped in here, it doesn't have a good flow. So it's possible all these anchovies came in here, then all the other fish came in here, and all of that massive load of anchovies…sucked out all of the oxygen in the water. And through that, everything died.”

This is the same theory that was applied to another fish die-off in 2011. Back then it was millions of fish blanketing the shore front of King Harbor in Redondo Beach. The fish were believed to have suffocated, much like the theory of the dead fish found over the weekend in Marina del Rey.

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