Miami’s Biscayne Bay water tested after thousands of dead fish found floating
Miami, US, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- Thousands of dead fish were spotted floating in Miami’s Biscayne Bay on Tuesday and authorities are taking water samples to determine the cause amid complaints from an environmental group.
Dead fish floated in the surroundings of Legion Park, a few kilometers north of Downtown Miami and a little further south on the banks of Morningside Park, one of Miami’s green lungs, located in the coastal neighborhood of the same name.
Witnesses cited by NBC channel 6 reported they saw thousands of dead fish, including snapper, needlefish, pufferfish, sea trout and crabs.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have already collected water samples to analyze and verify the cause of the deaths.
Authorities have yet to confirm if the problem could be associated with the so-called “red tide” of algae that appears during the summer in South Florida.
Quoted by Channel 7 News, FWC officials said the situation is likely natural and they have no reason to believe it is related to human activity.
The Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management’s spokesperson Tere Florin indicated that the fish deaths could be caused by a lack of oxygen due to warm water.
The FWC laboratory result is awaited as videos of local residents showing the dead fish were circulated online.
Environmentalists fear that this is not a mystery, but rather a sign they have been warning about for years: “that we are killing Biscayne Bay.”
“This is it, this is what we’ve been warning about and we’re starting to see fish die. We’ve already seen our seagrass die and this is the big red flashing arrow that we have a problem,” Rachel Silverstein, of Miami Waterkeeper, told Local 10 news.
In recent years, several beaches on the two coasts of Florida have had to close in summer due to the presence of the toxic algae Karenia brevis, a microorganism that causes red tide, which kills fish by depleting oxygen in water.
Red tide is a significant threat to the rare and threatened Florida manatee. EFE-EPA