NOV 27, 2016 8:10 AM PST

Why Thousands of Fish Died in This New York Canal

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Thousands of silver-colored Atlantic menhaden fish unexplainably began to float in the Shinnecock Canal on New York’s Long Island paired with a strong odor this month, both telling signs of their death, but what exactly caused this to happen?
 

Thousands of dead fish are seen floating atop this canal waterway in New York.

 Image Credit: Hampton Watercraft/YouTube

The rumor mill did its usual thing as the story went viral across the internet, suggesting that some kind of pollutant or hazardous chemical was spilled into the water and killing all the fish, but this isn’t the first time this has happened and residents from Hampton Bays, New York have seen this kind of thing before.
 
As it turns out, a large school of the Atlantic Ocean fish were all inadvertently locked into the channel. This meant the limited oxygen levels in the small body of water were quickly depleted by all the fish and they ultimately died of asphyxiation.
 
This sort of thing has happened before, but not always at mankind’s hand. Sometimes the issue is related to high concentrations of algae, which in itself can suck up a lot of a waterway’s oxygen supply and cause similar situations to occur. Other times, water temperature can play a role.
 
So, the big question remains, why did the fish swim into such a confined area rather than staying in the vast ocean blue? Experts are a little confused about this themselves, but the best theory they have is that some sort of predator might have chased them inside just before the locks all closed.
 
Many things can lead to massive fish kills like this, fortunately however these kinds of fish are fast populators and despite how terrible this looks in the photos and videos you see on the internet, the populations will undoubtedly rebound quickly.
 
Speaking of videos, here’s some drone footage showing the extent of the fish kill:
 


Still, to be a resident of the region and suddenly see such a dense cloud of floating fish bodies in the channel around the corner from your house is a little concerning, so it’s no surprise that people rushed to conclusions of water pollution or toxic chemical dumping out of concern that the water supply may have been unsafe.
 
Source: Fox News

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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