Why sea creatures are washing up dead around the world

Why sea creatures are washing up dead around the world

Sea creatures washing up dead around the world has become a concerning and prevalent issue in recent years. Reports of dead fish, crabs, starfish, and other marine life littering beaches are becoming increasingly common, leaving people wondering why this is happening. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this problem and what can be done to prevent it.

Red Tides

Harmful algal blooms, also known as red tides, are one of the leading causes of mass marine life deaths. These toxic blooms occur when nutrient-rich water from deeper ocean levels is brought up to the surface by strong winds blowing across the ocean surface, creating the perfect environment for algae to bloom. The algae produce toxins that can kill fish and seabirds and sicken humans. Additionally, the blooms block sunlight from reaching underwater plants, which deprives the fish of oxygen.

Red tides have been responsible for the death of thousands of fish in the San Francisco Bay Area and have also been spotted on the shores of southeastern Florida. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts that climate change will alter the “timing and intensity” of coastal upwelling, potentially leading to more algal blooms along the West Coast. Warmer waters caused by climate change could also spur other types of harmful algae, according to the EPA.

Storms and Extreme Weather Events

Storms and extreme weather events can also contribute to algal blooms by causing nutrients to run off from the land into the water. During a particularly stormy Southern Hemisphere summer, sea animals, including sea urchins, starfish, and crayfish, washed up dead on New Zealand’s east coast. Authorities suspect an algal bloom was responsible for this occurrence.

Droughts

Droughts, which may become more frequent due to climate change, can cause marine algae to invade freshwater systems. This has happened a number of times in freshwater lakes in the United States over the past couple of decades. The invasion of marine algae into freshwater systems can be deadly for the aquatic life living in them.

Human-Caused Algal Blooms

Algal blooms can also be caused by human activities. Industrial discharges into the river may have caused a rare golden algae bloom, which led to a mass fish die-off in the Oder River that runs along the border between Germany and Poland. Agriculture practices can also cause algal blooms when fertilizers containing high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus run off into bodies of water.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sea creatures washing up dead around the world is a complex issue caused by a combination of natural and human-made factors. Harmful algal blooms, stormy weather events, droughts, and human activities such as industrial and agricultural practices are all contributing factors. As climate change continues to affect the planet, the likelihood of these events will increase, leading to more marine life deaths.

FAQs

  1. What are red tides?

Red tides are harmful algal blooms that occur when strong winds push nutrient-rich water from deeper ocean levels to the surface, creating the perfect environment for algae to bloom.

  1. How do red tides kill marine life?

Red tides produce toxins that can kill fish and seabirds and sicken humans. The blooms also block sunlight from reaching underwater plants, which deprives the fish of oxygen.

  1. What other factors contribute to sea creatures washing up dead?

Storms and extreme weather events, droughts, and human activities such as industrial and agricultural practices can also contribute to algal blooms and the death of marine life.

  1. Can sea creatures washing up dead be prevented?

Preventing sea creatures from washing up dead will require a combination of measures, including reducing human activities that contribute to algal blooms, monitoring water quality, and taking steps to address climate change.