SE Florida Fishkill: Angelfish, parrot fish, triggerfish, and “every kind” of snapper floating dead in ocean; Upwelling of SUB-SURFACE water blamed
August 11th, 2010
So what else might be upwelling from down deep along with the cold water?
Statements in the Stuart News by boat captain James Ewing, August 10, 2010:
“Out deep everything seemed fine on the surface… but several times I marked on the bottom what looked like bait (on the depth finder), but wasn’t able to get a bite.”
“Ewing figured it was probably cold on the bottom, but received confirmation of it when he heard two divers nearby talking to each other over the VHF radio.”
“As we trolled in closer to shore we started seeing the dead fish floating on the surface from about 200 feet of water into about 90 feet of water.”
The captain “has never seen anything like it” in the ocean.
Scattered in the currents were “every kind of snapper” including undersized mutton snapper, lane snapper, triggerfish and various reef fish like angelfish and parrot fish.
The paper reports that the fishkill as caused by “upwelling” which is “a meteorological phenomenon that takes place when surface waters are moved by winds and replaced by cooler water that arrives from the depths offshore.”
The evidence? “In 2008, Stuart diver Kerry Dillon recalled diving the Halsey wreck off St. Lucie County in 80 feet of water and seeing no fish whatsoever. ‘I remember it being 47 degrees at another site and seeing gag grouper near the bottom completely motionless,’ he said. That year, legal-sized grouper and snapper were found floating on the surface by fishermen.”
However, The article quotes marine expert Mitchell Roffer, a PhD. founder of Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, “It is generally greener, more nutrient-rich water… Typically, although the temperatures will drop noticeably, it won’t hurt the fish species in a given area.”
From the NOAA website: This animation show simulated oil spill evolutions based on NCOM at a depth of 200 meters from April 20-June 28 (Though the fishkill was reported at a depth of 200 feet, 200 meters is the closest available approximation):