OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Researchers with North Carolina’s Division of Marine Fisheries are trying to find out what caused dozens of menhaden to wash ashore Thursday at Ocean Isle Beach.
According to Patricia Smith, Communications Director at DMF, there is no indication of a water quality issue.
An officer responded to the site Thursday and took samples for biologists to test. Smith says no lesions or markings were found on the fish that would indicate a water quality problem, and algal blooms in the ocean are very uncommon.
“The fact that only one species was observed suggests that depletion of dissolved oxygen or presence of toxic compounds were not the cause,” Smith said in an email. “There are other factors that could cause fish to wash ashore in this manner including: bycatch from a nearshore fishing operation pushed to shore by wind of tide or nearshore predation by bottlenose dolphin or other large species.”
WECT received a call from a viewer in Sunset Beach also reporting a similar scene.
There were also similar reports of dead fish washing up along North Myrtle Beach, SC.