Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alarming riddle of the seas as thousands more dead fish wash up on U.S. beach in latest mass death mystery

It's happened again: Thousands of fish have washed up dead on a beach at Sebastian Inlet State Park in Florida. A similar incident happened in a Port Orange creek last month First it was birds falling out of the sky in Louisiana and Texas. Then scores of devil crabs were found dead on a beach in England.

Now, in the latest unexplained mass animal death to hit the headlines this year alone, thousands of fish have again washed up dead in Florida.

This follows similar incidents where large schools of fish were found lifeless on beaches in Arkansas, Maryland and New Zealand in January.

What caused the fish in this latest incident to die is not yet known, but biologists believe they may have been killed due to a lack of oxygen in the water.

Fishermen at Sebastian Inlet State Park first made the grim discovery on Friday.

'I saw the fish jumping out there and I thought it was going to be a really good day for fishing, and then I noticed over here in the surf that they're all dead,' fisherman Jeff Johnson told WPBF 25 News.

'It's a little shocking, yes. I don't know if there's chemicals in the water or the temperatures that caused this.'

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are in the midst of carrying out tests on water samples but they do not suspect that chemicals or cold temperatures are to blame.

Instead they are checking for signs algae in the water which can lead to a lack of oxygen.

FWC biologist, Kelli O'Donnell, said: 'Just because there's such a large school of them, they use up the oxygen really quickly, and because they are coming closer to shore, there's not as high of a water turnover rate sometimes when you're in an area with not as much tidal flow.'

The majority of the dead fish were Menhaden, which are widely used in the U.S. for oil, fish meal, and fertiliser. Biologists also recorded Spot fish, Spade, Snook and Spot Tail Pin fish among the bodies.

Only last month thousands of dead fish were found floating in a warm creek in Port Orange, Florida.

Two million fish were found dead on shores in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland and days before an estimated 100,000 drum fish were found dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.

This was blamed on disease while the deaths in Maryland were due to the stress caused by unusually cold water and over breeding among spot fish, according to the Maryland department of environment.

Preliminary tests of the water in Chesapeake Bay showed the quality was acceptable, officials said at the time.

via Alarming riddle of the seas as thousands more dead fish wash up on U.S. beach in latest mass death mystery | Mail Online.

Is it only a matter of time before these random pockets of no oxygen start wiping out humans in large numbers? Is it reasonable to carry enough Oxygen to be able to escape to a better location?
Meret Emergency Oxygen O2 System Package Set, Backpack, Mask w/ Demand Valve, TanksLow oxygen levels will kill you slowly, OR can kill you instantly. For years I worked in a very large hospital in Tacoma, Washington. I can not count the times that I have been part of a CPR effort on someone who had taken their oxygen off to get out of bed, and then experienced a cardiac arrest in the bathroom. Very low oxygen levels can cause stimulation of your vagus nerve, which can stop your heart. Bearing down can also stimulate the vagus nerve. You do NOT want to have low oxygen levels when you are sitting on the toilet!  ... treat every occurrence of low blood oxygen level (anything below 92% oxygen saturation) ... Use supplemental oxygen with every activity that causes low blood oxygen levels.  Supplemental oxygen should be used 24 hours a day if there is any sign of low blood oxygen level at rest. Practice relaxing everyday! Tension is the biggest obstacle to fully utilizing your lungs. Do deep breathing exercises everyday following relaxation.  Get WELL OXYGENATED activity every day.
Avoid sugar and sweeteners.  ... Sip pure water all day every day.  ... Get 30 minutes of direct sunlight everyday. - bblw

If you are O2 deprived, get some:
The air one breathes usually is 21 percent oxygen; supplemental oxygen as prescribed by a doctor is 100-percent pure oxygen. Many people intake supplemental oxygen on a regular basis from the comfort of their home. This can aid them in living more independently in addition to making it easier and safer for them to enjoy day-to-day activities. Other benefits include lower instances of sleep disturbance owing to low oxygen levels since the respiratory and arousal abnormalities are reduced. This improves the quality of sleep ... People who are oxygen-starved feel very weak. Supplemental oxygen can bring back their energy levels, allowing them to feel active and healthy. Supplemental oxygen also increases their ability to endure physical exercise. Other effects include relief from headaches and nausea, prevention of heart failure for people with severe lung diseases and an improved immune system. .

Don't use extra Oxygen if you can help it, however:
... A clinical study conducted by the Division of Cardiology at Pennsylvania State University's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center reveals that in patients with congestive heart failure, supplemental oxygen has a damaging effect on cardiac output, stroke volume and systemic vascular resistance

A rebreather is a type of breathing set that provides a breathing gas containing oxygen and recycled exhaled gas. This recycling reduces the volume of breathing gas used, making a rebreather lighter and more compact than an open-circuitbreathing set for the same duration in environments where humans cannot safely breathe from the atmosphere. In the armed forces it is sometimes called "CCUBA" (Closed Circuit Underwater Breathing Apparatus). ...

As a person breathes, the body consumes oxygen and makes carbon dioxide. A person with an open-circuit breathing set typically only uses about a quarter of the oxygen in the air that is breathed in. The rest is exhaled along with nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

The rebreather recirculates the exhaled gas for re-use and does not discharge it to the atmosphere or water.[1][3] It absorbs the carbon dioxide, which otherwise would accumulate and cause carbon dioxide poisoning. It removes the carbon dioxide by a process called scrubbing.[1] The rebreather adds oxygen to replace the oxygen that was consumed.[1] Thus, the gas in the rebreather's circuit remains breathable and supports life.

Dave Sutton built his own really small rebreather which lead me to the Spare Air device (right below):
Spare Air Trade-In OfferSPARE AIR is the smallest redundant SCUBA system available with enough air to get you to the surface in an out-of-air emergency.  The patented SPARE AIR should be a standard piece of SCUBA diving equipment for the safety minded diver.  Explore the wealth of information about our product and diving in general.  Our goal is to convince you to save your own life in an out-of-air emergency.

Over 250,000 sold -over 30 years in service.

Smallest, most compact redundant emergency air system available.


A complete SCUBA system (regulator, tank and pressure indicator) that's the size of a can of cola.

  • 1.7 cubic feet of air

  • Tank finish in Neon Yellow for safety

  • Easily refills from your own SCUBA tank with included refill adapter (patent pending)

  • Easily attaches to your BC with included holster and safety leash

  • Small, hands-free, nearly neutrally buoyant

  • Breathe on demand regulator -No complicated instructions

  • Completely redundant back-up miniature SCUBA system

  • Faster than buddy breathing and easier than an octopus

  • Compact size allows for more versatile mounting options.

  • Size preferred by military agencies worldwide.

  • Original 1.7 cu ft is the "old faithful" of the SPARE AIR product line. In production since 1979- over 100,000 units in use.

30 breaths for $300 sounds like a lot now, but it will seem like the best money you ever spent if it saves your life. ;-) Here's a toy I'd like to have:
The QRAE II is a full-featured, compact, one- to four-sensor gas detector for detection of combustibles, oxygen, hydrogen sulphide, and carbon monoxide.

Key features include easy-to-change, externally accessed battery packs (available in rechargeable and alkaline versions), sensors and filter, a water-resistant case and a new state-of-the-art O2 sensor technology with extended life.

The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 14 hours of continuous operation. The QRAE II includes storage capacity for 64,000 datalogging points, which can be downloaded to any PC compatible with Windows 98, NT, 2000 or XP. - link




Sam said...

Some of these "mass deaths" may be unrelated. Although I really have no explanation for birds that have spontaneously fallen out of the sky, one thing to consider about anything marine around the Gulf of Mexico may be feeling the effects of the "oil-eating bacteria" they released into the water. They ate the oil, and that's good. They produced harmless by-products, and that, too, is good. However, they are also consuming immense amounts of oxygen, and as the dead fish are illustrating... that's not so good.

Sam said...

But I should note that this is obviously not the whole answer, and it's entirely possible that it isn't related at all.