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MARINA DEL REY (CBSLA.com) — Scientists Monday will work to determine how thousands of fish died in the Marina del Rey harbor.

The fish, consisting mostly of anchovies, floated to the surface of the water Saturday at Basin A of the marina, near Bora Bora Way.

“They come in here, it’s warmer in the harbor than it is out out front, so they have more plankton, more stuff to eat. I think that’s why they’re here,” local bait shop owner Mike Spears said. “And they just trapped themselves.”

“It’s a dead end here, right at the end of the basin, where all the animals accumulated, and they just suffocated,” Marine Mammal Center’s Peter Wallerstein said.

Scientists with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife plan to take samples to determine the exact cause.

The department spent most of Sunday cleaning up the fish, filling 175 trash bags with fish.

Harbor seals, pelicans, and seagulls, on the other hand, were attracted to the harbor to feast on the fish.

In 2011, a similar incident of a large fish die-off occurred in the Marina del Rey and Ventura harbors, Wallerstein said.

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