Thousands of dead fish have washed up in Oakland, California, amid a mass algae bloom in the San Francisco Bay.

Source: ABC7 News Bay Area/Youtube

Thousands of dead fish carcasses have been floating on the edge of the San Francisco bay and Oakland’s Lake Merritt. The heat has been wafting an atrocious stench into the neighborhoods surrounding the water. The water is murky and brown from the algae bloom, and the bloated dead fish are floating along the shores.

The dead bat rays, striped bass, sturgeon, anchovies, and clams, are concerning scientists as they try to understand the bloom. According to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the algae density that was measured on August 10 was the highest that has been seen in over 40 years.

Experts say that the die-off is likely due to the bloom as the alga sucks up dissolved oxygen. The Guardian reported that the bloom, also called Heterosigma akashiwo, also produces a toxin that could be responsible for killing the fish.

The death of the sturgeon fish is particularly devastating. The fish are incredibly large and can usually fight against many environmental threats. The earliest sturgeon fossils date back to the Late Cretaceous and are descended from earlier acipenseriform fish, which date back to some 174 to 201 million years ago.

As temperatures are set to rise in the coming weeks, officials are warning that temperatures could exacerbate the bloom. The heat could cause the smell of the fish to become much worse. Although crews are cleaning up the fish, the heat and bloom will likely kill more.

Source: Liz Kreutz/Youtube

The algae blooms pose a huge threat to sea life. Algae bloom in Florida caused a terrifying amount of manatees and dolphins to die. Although some say that these blooms are not harmful to humans, studies have found that the toxins from algae blooms can become airborne.

Wren says that one of the best ways to prevent future outbreaks like this is to stop these wastewater plants from releasing these nutrients into the water. However, another way to stop these, which not many people focus on, is cutting down our meat consumption.

One of the biggest culprits contributing to toxic algal blooms is run-off from agricultural fields and cow pastures, getting into large bodies of water near urban areas. We can talk about not polluting our local water supplies, but that’s pretty much a given. A longer-term impact can be made by reducing our meat and dairy intake. This isn’t an overnight solution, but if the demand for meat and dairy products is vastly reduced, then we will not need the number of agricultural fields, cow pastures, and so on, that are to blame for so many of the algal blooms we are currently seeing.

It might seem like a small token to change our diets, but if everyone was to do their part, we could heal our broken food system, give our planet time to heal, and pave the way for a sustainable world for future generations.

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on the App Store. With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!