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'Unprecedented' Biscayne Bay Fish Kill Creates Rancid Smell Along Waterway Shorelines

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A mysterious fish with dead and rotting fishing in Biscayne Bay has created a terrible rancid smell for residents and businesses nearby.

Dead, bloated, and decaying fish have been washing up on the bay's boat ramps and next to sea walls since Monday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they believe it's caused by low dissolved oxygen in the water. Contributing factors are a higher water temperature, and low water quality.

Marine experts are calling this fish kill "unprecedented" in our area.

Some regulars at Morningside Park said they have never seen anything like this.

"It's devastating. I mean, we live here because of our access, you know to our waterways. That's also, you know, a primary reason for tourism, is our waterways and we're not, for years we haven't paid any attention," said Kathryn Mikesell who likes to go a swim at the park.

"I reach the island, it is also really full of dead fish. I come back and I usually go in the water and I swim, I enjoy my swim like almost two to three times a week. I couldn't get in the water. It was really gross," said paddleboarder Fadi Yazbek.

CBS4 even saw some stingrays come up to the edge of the water struggling for oxygen.


Stingrays Morningside Park
Stingrays at Morningside Park are coming up to the waters edge as they struggle for oxygen. (CBS4)


Rachel Silverstein with Miami Water Keeper says this is something that should raise concern.

"Storm water, sewage leaks, septic tanks, and fertilizer are all contributing to this buildup of pollution in the bay that's killing the sea grass and then killing the fish as we are seeing now."

The Frost Science Museum is helping out.

Andy Dehart, Vice President of Animal Husbandry at Frost Science and fellow team members are helping provide much-needed oxygen to the waters of Biscayne Bay.

The Frost Science team alongside FIU College of Arts, Science & Education is hoping this additional oxygen, through an air line installation into the water, will help marine life survive this event.

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