Thousands of small dead fish were washed up on a Keansburg shore in New Jersey Tuesday afternoon.
Bob Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said that the explanation for the fish plaque is low dissolved oxygen levels in the still waters of Waackaack Creek and Thornes Creek near the Raritan Bayshore.
This event has cut off access to dozens of boaters, whose engines are too surrounded by smelling dead fish to move.
Doug Rader, the chief oceans scientist for the Environmental Defense Funds, stated that massive fish kills are frequently a warning that more must be done to recover water quality in estuaries. It is a common phenomenon, but it is intensified by human impact. These problems are worsened by higher water temperatures: colder water holds oxygen better than warmer water does. Specialists say that this could indicate that fish kills will get worse as climate change progresses.
For animals that are defenseless against low oxygen levels, that makes things worse. Unfortunately, scientists believe that fish kills are frequently just one symptom of an ecosystem fighting with a greater environmental problem, such as raised nitrogen levels that encourage algal blooms.
On the other hand, Lawrence Hanja, spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection considers that this is a typical process that has occurred over the centuries and will proceed to repeat. He mentioned that it’s just part of how nature operates, and the ecosystem maintains equilibrium.
The fish are a species named the juvenile Atlantic menhaden, usually known as the peanut bunker, a small three- to four-inch-long fish that serves as the primary food source for many game fish.
Specialists say that the large school of fish was chased into the marina by bluefish or skates from a greater local bay. The die-offs were then induced by low oxygen levels in the marina.
Locals say that the dead fish are also making life miserable for everyone who has to breathe in the region.
Local officials added that they are doing everything they can to remove the dead fish from the are and that Keansburg public works employees are doing their best to finish the cleanup as soon as possible.
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