Something 'fishy' going on

A couple of days ago we woke up to a funny smell in the air... something a bit 'fishy'.
It was strange until we saw the news: They found almost 2 Tons of dead fish. Where??? The lagoon Tommy and I have been visiting!!! If you are a regular reader, it is the one on the post about a Sunday afternoon and also the one with ducks 'reading' the signs.

I was running late for work, but Tommy found some time during the day to pay a visit. The fish (Tilappia) was already removed, only a few small guys were still there, washed on the shore.

Tommy says the smell was still horrible, and he was surprised to find the remaining 'living' fish trying to 'breath air', at least that is what it looked like.

Note from Tommy: The side of the lagoon accessible to the public is around 70 metres of the perimeter (I guess the whole lagoon is a little over 500 metres). The pictures you see are from all around this stretch, and it was all the same scene - literally THOUSANDS of fish appearing to gasp for air around the shoreline. A sad sight, just seemed so 'unnatural'.

No authority explained what happened: Pollution? Failure on airing the water? (It is not a natural lagoon, needs some maintainance on the human side), Someone dumped something bad in the water? Algae took over?

I wasn't there to see what Tommy experienced, but looking at the pictures I do feel frustrated and impotent. I want to know and nobody is talking!! It's so annoying!!

There was an unusual smell on the air all over Lima yesterday, I felt it outside the office (one and a half hours from home), and I can't help wondering if some other ponds or lagoons had suffered the same fate... Or maybe it was just a coincidence...

Nobody knows, not even this Egret. The only one seen at the lagoon while Tommy was there... I try to figure out what's going on in its mind... Does it know? Will it have a problem later on?
I bet it is puzzled too.

Egretta Thula (White egret)

I'll try to keep you posted on this, if I manage to find some information.

To finish up with a happier note (I do need it!!), I leave you with this Vermilion Flycatcher Tommy found close to the site.

Pyrocephalus rubinus (Vermilion Flycatcher)


Bird Girl said...

Oh Mel - What a terrible story! I can't imagine what happened there! We live on a golf course and many years ago my young son came running in the house..."Dad, there are over 100 dead fish in the pond!" My hubby went to the small pond and counted - he was right. The greens keeper at the time was 'spray crazy' (trying to get rid of dandelions with weed killer). The guys even wore a suit and mask like doctors do when they sprayed. The water turned a strange color of green, too. Nothing was done. I hope you find out what happened.
By the way - LUCKY to get a Vermilion Flycatcher!!! There's a gorgeous one on this months cover of Birders World Magazine!

John said...

If there is a lot of fertilizer or sewage washing into a body of water, it can cause an algae bloom, which starves the fish of oxygen. I think that is a frequent cause of fish kills here. Here's more on hypoxia.

I have also seen fish kills as a result of sudden cold snaps. Presumably some pollutants could do it too.

Anonymous said...

I would tend to agree with John; oversupply of nitrates, especially as found in fertilizer either brought to a body of water by run-off or direct dumping can cause some ferocious algae blooms that drastically reduce the Oxygen in the water. Whatever the cause, the result is indeed horrific.

Meggie said...

Oh Mel! How awful for those fish in the lagoon. Hope you find the cause...keep us posted. Beautiful shot of the flycatcher.

Gallicissa said...

I too think the reason mentioned by John is the cause for this. I hope the working people enjoyed the May 1st holiday.

The Birdlady said...

The fish situation is worrisome -
But the flycatcher is beautiful! Such a wonderful world, if we don't destroy it!

Sandpiper said...

Oh, how sad! I hope they find the cause. Your flycatcher picture is gorgeous!

Markus Jais said...

Sad about the fish. Great photographs, especially the Heron.

Sekhar said...

I just tumbled upon your blog Mel. You seem to be so environment conscious. Keep up your good work on the blog. Must say, I too am worried about those dying fish. Keep informing us about the incident :)

Mel said...

Hello guys :)
Thank you for stopping by.

Bird girl, I can imagine the sight of that pond, turning green and having so much life gone in one go!

John, hopefully we'll find out soon what is going on. Some friends stopped by the lagoon this evening and took some samples, let's just wait for the results.

BABW, it is indeed horrific :(

Meggie, we are doing as much as we can to find out. That flycatcher certainly made our day after such sight.

Ami, thanks for the May 1st wishes, mine wasn't very happy, I had a set of bad news and then found what I updated today :(

Birdlady, we have to learn to respect our planet. I'm glad you visited, I enjoy your blog very much.

Sandpiper, we are on it, we'll try to discover what happened and keep you all posted.

Markus, nice to see you again around here :)

Sekhar, welcome! thanks for your comment, hope to see you around often ;)

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mel, I feel so bad for those fish looking so desperate to breathe. I hate hearing stories of stuff like this happening and wonder what the lingering affects will be--for fish and the other birds and animals that eat fish.

Q said...

Dear Mel,
I am so sad....so very sad.
Flycatcher is beautiful.
I enjoying seeing your birds. so sorry about the fish...
so sad.
It is good of you and Tommy to stay on top of this. Maybe if you find out what happened you can help prevent it from happening again.
I am sending blessings to your water way...

Mel said...

Hola chicas,

Ruthie, I'm worried about the whole ecosystem there, as you said: fish and the ones who live on fish, they are all impacted by this, whatever it may be!

Sherry, thanks for your blessings, I believe they are so needed!! We've tried to do something, hopefully it will somehow help prevent situations like this in the future, at least of this magnitude :(