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Officials fear bacteria from rotting fish could imperil more sea life off Redondo Beach

March 10, 2011 |  7:30 am


As workers and volunteers continue to remove dead fish in King Harbor there is concern that the bacteria from the rot could imperil more sea life.

Beyond the powerful stench expected to be unleashed once the fish start to rot and float to the surface, oxygen-eating bacteria could cause oxygen levels to dip again and kill anything else living in the harbor, such as mackerel and perch. The decay also could boost nutrients in the harbor, leading to an algae bloom that could again deplete the oxygen supply.

The conservation group Heal the Bay, worried about the fish-clogged waters continuing to degrade water quality, is encouraging volunteers to show up at the harbor over the next few days to help with the surface-level cleanup.

City officials say they are trying to remove the fish as quickly as possible. The city plans, for instance, to hire a firm in the next few days to gently vacuum the hard-to-get deposits of fish on the harbor floor.

Continue reading: Redondo Beach begins cleanup of dead sardines


Redondo Beach fish die-off: Tests show oxygen levels at 'almost zero'

35 tons of dead sardines scooped from King Harbor so far; cleanup costs top $100,000

-- Tony Barboza