Investigation launched into second fish die-off near Los Angeles

08:53, April 20, 2011      

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Officials on Tuesday launched an investigation into the mystery behind the second die-off of thousands of fish near Los Angeles in more than one month.

Thousands of anchovies and sardines were found dead in Ventura Harbor near Los Angeles on Monday, alarming officials about any possible environmental hazard that might lead to the die-off.

But a preliminary investigation found that the fish died due to lack of oxygen in the water after moving into the harbor a week ago, according to the Ventura Harbor Patrol (VHP).

It remained unknown why the fish entered the harbor, but they could have been chased by a sea lion, dolphin or strong tide, VHP officials said.

Pat Hummer of VHP said three patrol boats drove around scooping up dead fish before they started sinking and stinking. They filled up more than 20 50-gallon barrels throughout the day. The carcasses were dumped at sea.

In early March, 175 tons or 2.5 million sardines died in Redondo Beach in King Harbor near Los Angeles. Scientists said poisoning from an acid generated by an offshore algae bloom might be a possible cause for the die-off, refuting claims by officials that the fishes were suffocated by lack of oxygen in the water.

Source: Xinhua
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