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Dead fish are turning up on SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Area shores: A toxic algae bloom may be the likely cause

algae bloom
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A large number of dead fish along with other marine life carcasses are washing ashore in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Area, developing a foul smell. Experts indicate an unprecedented “red tide” algae bloom because the mostly likely cause.

Abnormal amounts of dead crabs, bat rays, striped bass, white sturgeon and much more have already been spotted through the entire Bay area during the last week, officials say, notably at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. The beginning of the fish die-off could date back even furtheras the harmful algae bloom has been spreading since late July.

The carcasses are worrying environmental scientists, because they mark a devastating loss to . Experts also fear that the impacts could worsen on the weekend’s expected heatwave, that could cause the harmful algae bloom to cultivate a lot more.

Exactly what is a red tide? Exactly why is it killing fish?

Even though many algae blooms are advantageous to ocean life, a “red tide” is really a that may produce powerful, fatal toxins and/or result in a water’s oxygen to fall past levels necessary for survival, the National Ocean Service notes. The Bay area’s current bloom was formed by way of a microorganism called Heterosigma akashiwo.

“This species is connected with massive fish kills elsewhere,” Jon Rosenfield, fishery ecologist at environmentally friendly nonprofit SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Baykeeper, told the Stockton Record, area of the U.S. TODAY Network. “It really is unknown, at this time, if the bloom is causing a drop in dissolved oxygen … or creating a toxin that kills fish, or both.”

Algae blooms aren’t uncommon, but Rosenfield added that the Bay Area’s current red tide is “unprecedented in its spatial extent and duration.”

“Small, short-lived algal blooms round the Bay’s margins aren’t uncommon. … But nothing of the scope has been reported before in the Bay-proper,” he said.

When did the Bay Area’s harmful algae bloom start?

This harmful algae bloom was initially spotted in the Alameda Estuary, executive officer of SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board Eileen White told The Associated Press. White added that the bloom has been spreading since late July.

Most end after in regards to a week. But a triple-digit heat wave forecast for the upcoming Labor Day weekend could cause the Bay Area’s bloom to cultivate a lot more, White said. “We have no idea when it’s likely to end,” she said.

White noted that treating the water for nutrients would cost vast amounts of dollars. Water districts are funding studies to comprehend the consequences of nutrients which have been within the water since people settled in your community, she said. “The target is to make the correct regulations predicated on sound science.”

Just how many fish have died?

There is no solution to know the full total amount of fish which have died up to now, Rosenfield said, noting that folks are seeing only a fraction of the affected fish wash up dead on the Bay’s shores.

Damon Tighe, a self-described citizen scientist, has been the type of monitoring the fish kill in Lake Merritt. On Sunday, Tighe posted a map showing locations round the lake where fish had perishedas section of a project for naturalists, biologists and much more to get sightings on iNaturalist, a social networking from the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic Society used to talk about biodiversity observations worldwide.

Tighe estimates that a lot more than 10,000 fish have died since August 28.

“I’ve never seen a meeting this bad,” he told the Stockton Record. “Everything is dying; gobies, flounders, crabs, polychaete works, shrimp, everything.”



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Citation: Dead fish are turning up on SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Area shores: A toxic algae bloom may be the likely cause (2022, September 2) retrieved 3 September 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-dead-fish-piling-san-francisco.html

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