Fish wash ashore on Coast; agencies blame low oxygen, algae
by MBJ Staff
Published: July 2,2013
MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — A lack of oxygen in the water and algae blooms are the main causes of a fish kill along the Coast, according to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
The fish began washing up on the beaches of Harrison and Hancock counties and on Cat Island early yesterday.
The MDMR and MDEQ took samples and conducted an aerial survey in an effort to determine the cause of a widespread fish kill. The Gulf Coast Research Lab also worked with the two state agencies.
“We found widespread areas of low dissolved oxygen,” said Dr. Kelly Lucas, chief scientific officer for MDMR, adding that oxygen levels are lower in warm water. “In two of the 14 sampling areas, we found high concentrations of a microscopic algae that causes blooms, also known as ‘red tide.’ This particular species is non-toxic; however it can clog the gills of fish.”
Lucas said the MDMR is working with the GCRL to sample the gills.
The lack of oxygen in the Mississippi Sound occurs during the summer months when hot water temperatures result in areas of very low or no oxygen, and fish attempt to get to the surface for oxygen. Oxygen levels generally are lower in warm water.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Retired judge to hear McDaniel's challenge of primary loss to Cochran
- PSC's Brandon Presley calls in-state nuclear waste dump a 'harebrained scheme'
- Former DMR manager pleads guilty to embezzlement
- State's jobless rate remains highest in U.S.
- GOLF ranks state's courses; Fallen Oaks, Dancing Rabbit make top 100
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- Court ruling on Section 42 leaves taxpayers on hook for tax repayments
- Wisconsin man pleads guilty to illegal wildlife trapping
- Jackson air fares among most expensive in the nation