MAR Supervisor Pumpkin looks on as MAR prepares to rescue this emaciated elephant seal pup in Torrance Beach. FISH DIE IN REDONDO BEACH Millions of sardines died in King Harbor, Redondo Beach yesterday. Many people from the media wanted to connect the mass death to pollution from the local power plants, or a sewage spill somewhere in the area, even the bird deaths back east. Authorities did do the right thing testing the waters and the fish for any chemical residue. They found nothing.
From past experience I knew right away what had happened. My beliefs were confirmed by a long time commercial fisherman friend, that the fish suffocated. Fish and Game also confirmed this by testing the oxygen level in the water. Some fish like sardines form bait balls. There can be millions of fish swimming in tight formations in these bait balls. 50 to 100 tons of fish can be in these fish pools. This week we had large waves and 40 mile an hour winds along the coast. The massive bait ball took a wrong turn and ended up in the calm waters of King Harbor. The sardines unfortunately made it to a small, confined area in the marina and due to the normal lack of water circulation in the confined area and the enormous amount of fish, there just wasn’t enough oxygen in the water to support the millions of sardines so they died from oxygen depletion. We certainly feel bad that all these fish had to die this way. But, for once it wasn’t caused by our fellow human beings. Peter Wallerstein Marine Animal Rescue Specialist Friends of Animals