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Thousands of Dead Fish Suddenly Show Up in a New York Canal

Nov 20, 2016 04:20 AM EST
Thousands of Dead Fish Show Up In a Canal

(Photo : Phil Walter)

Locals on Long Island, Southampton woke up to an appalling sight on Monday when they saw thousands of dead fish bundled up and floating in a nearby canal. They were so tightly clustered that it was difficult to see water in the regions.

According to experts at The New York State Department of Environmental  Conversation, the tiny fish, popularly referred to as bunker, landed up at the wrong time in the wrong place. Fish cannot live long in the air and require oxygen to survive. Since the locks were closed, the flow of water had stopped, and the fish consumed all the available oxygen until none was left. Tests are still being conducted but O'Neil stated that there weren't any indications of chemical use or algal bloom- phenomena that can eradicate marine life.

Shinnecock Canal, where the fish were found,  connects the Great Peconic Bay to Shinnecock Bay. Since the water level in both the bays are different, a system of locks has been put in place to assist ships travel between the two location The East Hampton Star quoted Christopher Gobler, director at Stony Brook University's  marine science program, stating that a predatory school of bluefish forced the huge shoal of fish into the nearby canal. It's also likely that the super moon created a huge tide, leading to the flood of fish on Sunday late evening, said Sean O'Neill, Peconic Baykeeper.

The locks were opened the following morning and the dead fish floated on to the sea and some were washed up on the banks. Seeing this, fishermen in the area gathered up the bunker. This kind of fiish was once used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and paints. A similar incident occurred in 2014 in Marina de Rey, California, where thousands of anchovies perished in the harbor after escaping from a predator.

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