Tuesday April 2, 2024

News 5 Cleveland

A federal agency is taking emergency action after droves of fish exhibiting strange behavior turned up dead on South Florida shores.

Reports of this “abnormal fish behavior” state fish in the Lower Florida Keys are “spinning and whirling,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. And while scientists remain perplexed as to why, what’s particularly concerning them is the series of smalltooth sawfish deaths that could be related to the event, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to get involved.

Since March 24, at least 109 of the endangered fish have been affected and more than 28 have died, with some exhibiting the whirling behavior before their death, FWC said. However, NOAA Fisheries sawfish recovery coordinator Adam Brame says the total mortality number is likely greater because the sawfishes are unlikely to float after death. 

To date, fish necropsy data shows no signs of a communicable pathogen or bacterial infection as the root of the strange behaviors or deaths, FWC said. Water temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen are also not suspected to be involved. 

Read more >

Link copied successfully