NOV 27, 2016 08:10 AM PST

Why Thousands of Fish Died in This New York Canal

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.
You May Also Like
OCT 16, 2019
Microbiology
OCT 16, 2019
A Canine Cancer That Began to Spread From One Dog About 6,000 Years Ago
Dogs can get different kinds of cancers, including one that is transmitted by live cancer cells, which spread through sexual contact....
OCT 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 16, 2019
Here's Everything You Need to Know About a Kangaroo's Pouch
Kangaroos are particularly interesting creatures, and perhaps one of their most recognizable attributes is the pouch on mothers’ bellies that provide...
OCT 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 16, 2019
Giraffe Conservation Gets More Serious as Species Gains New Protections
One of the world’s most distinguishable long-necked animals, the giraffe, appears to be headed for a troubling future in the eyes of animal conservat...
OCT 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 16, 2019
These Young Seabirds Must Learn to Fly or be Eaten by Sharks
These young albatrosses must learn the official rules of ‘survival of the fittest.’ Once big enough, they will need to become as adept at flyin...
OCT 16, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
OCT 16, 2019
How the Kava Plant Creates Medicinal Compounds
Nature has given us some of our best medicines; it's thought that as many as half the drugs we used are derived from natural products....
OCT 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 16, 2019
Watch a Young Chimpanzee Fall in Love With a Spy Tortoise
Animals can be wary of human presence in their natural habitat, so much so that they’ll often flee the scene, preventing scientists from gathering da...
Loading Comments...