Tuesday, March 22, 2016

City of Cocoa Beach: Do Not Remove Dead Fish

Massive Fish Kill In Banana River
Thousands of dead fish are floating in Brevard County's portion of the Indian River Lagoon. Photo Courtesy of Katey Roebuck.

COCOA BEACH, Florida - The City of Cocoa Beach issued an advisory asking residents to not remove dead fish that are floating in residential canals and waterways.

Thousands of dead or dying horseshoe crabs, whiting, sheepshead, catfish, puffer fish, black drum, flounder, red fish, mullet and spotted trout can be seen floating throughout the Banana River, around the Thousand Islands, and in residential canals.

"The City reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to receive advice on handling the dead fish along the waterfront in Cocoa Beach," the City of Cocoa Beach stated in a release. "They advised citizens NOT to remove fish - allow nature to run it's course. The fish will sink to the bottom within a few days."

A Brown Tide algae bloom that erupted during the last two months is the suspected cause of the massive fish kill. Brown tides are caused by the pelagophyte Aureoumbra lagunensis. The algae depletes the dissolved oxygen in the water to such a low level that fish suffocate and die.

More Indian River Lagoon