Monday, April 18, 2011

Sardines, anchovies dying in Ventura Harbor - 18th Apr 2011

At least 1,000 anchovies and sardines have died in the Ventura Harbor from what officials believe is a lack of oxygen.

The fish were first seen dead or dying about 6 a.m. today, with some belly up in the water and others struggling to survive. Sea lions, along with hundreds of sea gulls and pelicans were swooping in to eat the fish.

"There are quite a bit that are dead," said Pat Hummer, a senior officer with the Ventura Harbor Patrol.

Hummer said there have been large amounts of bait fish in the harbor for about a week, and officials were wondering if this would happen. He suspects the cause is too little oxygen for too many fish.

High tide is expected at 10:30 a.m. and harbor officials hope the tide will wash out most of the fish.

The fish kill, however, doesn't appear to be as severe as others in the past and not nearly as bad as one in Redondo Beach's King Harbor earlier this year, when 175 tons of sardines died.

Larry Bases, who lives on his boat in the Ventura West Marina, said that between the time he got up this morning and the time he left for work, scores had died around his boat.

"They are all over the place," he said, "thousands of them." Read More