Waves of dead fish in Texas

Posted in Jun 12, 2023 at 8:07 p.m

Even if it’s hot at the meeting point, one beach in Texas has been shunned by boaters in recent days. And for good reason: tens of thousands of dead fish cover the surf.

Fish that lack oxygen

Tens of thousands of dead fish float near Quintana Beach, Texas. These fish died from hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen in the water. And it’s not over. Brazoria County officials expect to see more fish landing on the beach.

combination of several factors

It is a combination of several elements that caused this disaster. First there is the heat. Temperatures exceeded 33 degrees in the region for several days. So the water exceeded 21 degrees. Hot water picks up less oxygen than cold water.

lack of photosynthesis

Next, the Gulf of Mexico waters have been particularly calm in recent days. The waves add oxygen to the water. Finally, the cloudy sky reduced the algae’s ability to photosynthesize, and thus it produced less oxygen.

worrying trend

It is not unusual to see a few thousand fish die in the surf in this area. But the enormity of the events of the past few days is worrying experts. Climate change could lead to more and more of this kind of disaster. Menhaden fish like the one seen on these waves can alone filter 15 liters of water per minute, which naturally controls the presence of algae in the water.

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