Close to 30,000 to 40,000 menhaden baitfish were washed ashore on a stretch of beach from Georgetown County S.C. to Pawleys Island. Hundreds of thousands of small, oily fish washed ashore near Masonboro Island, N.C.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) suggested that due to a condition called hypoxia and presence of the new moon on the previous Friday, thousands of fish suffocated and died; then washed ashore.
Potential Cause of the Demise
According to the Office of Fisheries Management for S.C. DNR, the new moon caused real low and high tides. They suspect what happened was a school of fish came in an area of water on a high tide.
They were trapped in a depression or hole that had depleted oxygen levels in the water. The fish ultimately, suffocated.
However, the DNR refuted the low oxygen, cold temperatures, or algal bloom as the reason for the death of the fish. Researchers noticed a reddish slick in the water near the beach. They claimed that this reddish substance is probably due to the decaying matter of the dead menhaden baitfish.
Mass Deaths of Wildlife Around the World
In addition to the recent events that happened in the Carolinas, there have been thousands of animals found dead in countries throughout the world since 2011. In 2012, mass deaths of squid, seagulls, and fish were found in California, along the Texas coast, in the Colorado River to Galveston Island, and on Lake Erie.
At one time, it was suggested that the possible causes of death to the fish was due to a fish disease called viral hemorrhagic and Type E botulism, which kills fish and the birds, that eat them.
There have been massive fish deaths in Brazil and New Zealand, as well. Moreover, in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky, thousands of birds fell down from the skies.
What Could the Future Bring?
With the occurrences of all of these animals deaths throughout the world, many wonder are they truly due to nature or is there some hidden danger lurking in our midst. Could the massive deaths be due to climate change, greenhouse gases, human involvement, or natural environmental issues? Through our observation, research and awareness, time will tell.
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