This event is not a “normal occurrence,” but rather a sign that something is seriously out of balance in our Bay. It can be recognized as a “symptom” of high levels of pollution in our water. This fish kill is particularly alarming because of where it occurred. These kills can sometimes happen during the summer in canals that don’t have a lot of water circulation, but to see this over a large area in the open Bay is exceptionally concerning and unusual.
The types of fish that were killed include those that live at the bottom in the seagrass, which are generally less able to escape poor water quality conditions, and those that live in the water column that would typically be able to swim away from poor water conditions. This finding means that the affected area was so big that these water column fish could not escape.
Algae blooms are not normal. They are a symptom of a larger pollution problem facing Biscayne Bay. The area where the seagrass has been dying the most is the same area where the fish kill has been observed, and now where this bloom is now taking place. This is not a coincidence. This area has many canals drain here, and which pick up the pollution from the land. This area is highly urbanized and surrounded by septic tanks that leach bacteria and nutrients into the waterways. Septic tanks must be removed from this area immediately.