REDONDO BEACH (CBS) — Millions of dead fish invaded King Harbor in Redondo Beach Tuesday morning.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore Reports

The surface of the water was covered in places by tons of the fish, in places a foot thick, Redondo Beach police said. Some observers estimated more than a billion fish went belly-up overnight and this morning.

The cleanup is being handled by the county Department of Public Works. The job could take several days, as dead fish on the bottom decompose and float to the surface.

Sardines move in gigantic schools, sometimes called “bait balls,” and the yesterday’s high winds could have driven them into the harbor, which is in a pocket at the southern end of Santa Monica Bay. Yesterday’s strong winds were out of the northwest.

California Department of Fish and Game officials believe the fish “got lost” in rough seas and made a wrong turn at the breakwater, ending up in the harbor, where they used up all the available oxygen.

Initial testing revealed no sign of natural toxins, such as domoic acid, which sometimes kills marine life.

Officials said there was no health hazard, and the city was doing a good job in handling the cleanup.

Crews, who were using garbage cans to scoop up the dead fish, were scrambling to dispose of them before the stink grew worse.

Keenan said authorities believe many of the sardines died from “oxygen deprivation.”

“Sardines consume a lot of oxygen, and there was not a lot of oxygen in the confined area where they were; and so they died of oxygen deprivation,” officials said. “It’s like putting too many fish in a small aquarium.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (28)
  1. Grunion Run says:

    I wish i live nearby Redondo Beach Harbor so i can rake up all the dead fishes for Fertilizer. it’s does good for the Soil.

  2. Ozzy says:

    It’s the end of the world as we know it………

    1. Duh! says:

      Only if your world is swimming in the King Harbor Marina with a million other fish.

  3. Duh! says:

    Sushi Time!!!

  4. icecream says:

    Deep fried with hot, crispy chips ???

  5. Joe Brown says:

    Redondo Beach Harbor, needs to further investigate this incident and if necessary make changes to the harbor to make sure that such a tragedy never happens again. There must be a glitch in the design of the harbor. How come this doesn’t happen to other harbors?
    Any fisherman will tell you that fish can and will swim against the current, especially the smaller fish, because they more agile. These small fish are very important to the marine life, and the bigger fish feed on them to survive, and spawn.
    I hope that someone still has a conscious in Redondo Beach Harbor!

  6. Sipz says:

    What a mess…

  7. URIEL says:


  8. Jack says:

    Come on people start blaming the” illegals” for this!

  9. Me says:

    Uncle Sam…. you are too stupid to insult.

  10. Jeff says:

    Illegals uriniating in the water caused this!

  11. Nathan Rothschild says:

    Gabrielli says it’s believed the fish moved into the harbor late Monday or early Tuesday to escape a red tide, a naturally occurring bloom of toxic algae that can poison fish or starve them of oxygen.

    Gabrielli says high winds apparently kept the sardines from leaving the harbor and they all crushed up against the harbor wall, where they used up the oxygen and suffocated.

    Gabrielli, you are so full of BS. How much money did you get to come up with such a rediculous excuse?

  12. Anu says:

    Cause of millions of dead fish a mystery? No way. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are finally fed up saying, “How many times do we have to tell you, NO ANCHOVIES?!”

  13. FOX says:

    OMG this is such bullshi#. The world is coming to an end. Dose anyone wanna acknowledge it. lets be real. all they do is give us LAME stories about alll of the signs proving the time is coming. But no everyone falls for this blah blah blah story…”due to the winds” lol funny… everyone be safe…. this is just one of many signs that they are covering up peiople….. just full of idiots…

  14. nasty says:

    stay away from your local fish restaurants for a while…

  15. aoi says:

    hope they are raking it out of there because dead rotting fish stinks like hell.

    its got to be poison not unless someone did some blasting.

  16. James says:

    All those fish are “fresh off the boat” and should be deported.

  17. good grief says:

    It would be really nice if these clowns did NOT lie to us. Something up stream in the concrete rivers caused this.

  18. fan says:

    Millions of dead fish invaded King Harbor in Redondo Beach Tuesday morning.OH NO ,must be zombie fish

  19. Fan says:


  20. Biology Bill says:

    I wonder if “Ranger Rick” over at the fish and game checked his grunion schedule for last night before calling these, “sardines?’ See: http(colon)(slant)(slant)

    1. Biology Bill says:

      One would think with all the dead fish, the cameraman / reporter could take a close-up of 1 fish so that the public can look straight past “the authorities” speculating as to what actually happened. Here’s a grunion: and here’s a sardine: – cannot believe the cameraman / reporters couldn’t get off the numbers of fish, and examine a single fish….

    2. Biology Billy says:

      At least the “Science Dude” over in the OC took some close-ups of the fish – These look more and more like grunion – at least the “Science Dude” just left it at, “they’re fish.”

  21. fishy times says:

    its an ” id 10 t ” problem or a conspiracy fools all or all for fools

  22. laura says:

    i agree i strongly agree!!!!!!this dead fishes are giving us signsssss!!!!! i dont want to say that the world is coming to an end but humans are!!!!

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