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Countless Red Tuna Crabs Cover Orange County Coastline

BALBOA ISLAND ( — Countless red tuna crabs have washed ashore and are covering the Orange County coastline.

The pelagic or tuna crabs first surfaced from Laguna to Huntington beaches three days ago, but a new wave tossed and tumbled toward shore Tuesday evening.

"Well, it is terrible. There's nothing you could do about it. You can't push them in the water. They keep swimming in like lemons," J.D. Doughty, a fishing store-owner, said.

Doughty has fished in Newport waters for over 30 years and says the tuna crab were pulled in as a result of a warm ocean current along the western coast.

"It's another sign of an approaching El Nino," he said. "And we'll see that in August and September."

Experts blame warmer ocean temperatures for the crabs' demise, but for fisherman, these are conditions few have seen in their lifetimes.

Footage taken Tuesday morning 14 miles off Newport Beach captured schools of tuna feeding on the red crab, according to Doughty.

"This is pretty remarkable," he said. "This type of tuna that's along our coastline we haven't seen since 1919-1920s."

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