REDONDO BEACH (CBS) — Cleanup crews returned Wednesday to the site where millions of small fish, primarily sardines, were found dead at Redondo Beach’s King Harbor.

Scientists say the fish suffocated due to lack of oxygen in the water. They say the fish were pushed into the harbor Monday by 45 mph wind gusts where they breathed all the available oxygen.

The surface of the water is still covered in areas by tons of the approximately four-inch fish. In some locations, fish are a foot thick in the water. The clean-up operation is complicated by dead fish near or on the bottom of the harbor decomposing and floating to the surface.

Initial testing revealed no sign of natural toxins, such as domoic acid, which sometimes kills marine life. Most of the dead fish were in basins 1 and 2. City officials said there was no health hazard.

No harbor area closures were issued Wednesday morning, but the Department of Public Works may close access for large construction equipment during the cleanup, city officials said.

Redondo Beach officials are also worried about tourism. They say with increasing temperatures, the stench from the dead fish will only increase and turn away harbor visitors.

The clean-up could take a week and may cost about $100,000 dollars.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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 (5)
  1. joe says:

    If the reporters on your news channel ask that the mayor is asking for volunteers to help clean up the fish mess in the habor but state that it will cost the city 100,000 dollars to clean it up. Whos getting the 100,0000 dollars and the volunteers get nothing in this days economy. What,s up with that?????? Accountablity, where is all tha t money going toooo?????

    1. wilbur says:

      You know they say it will hurt tourism, how about all the illegals here in california, their stench and neighborhoods have been hurting tourism for years and cost us way more than the 100,000 for this clean up. Lets feed the illegals the poisonous fish as part of a lent giveaway since their kind are all catholics anyway and we can get rid of some that way

      1. dave says:

        wilbur, your an idiot..

      2. Tom says:


        Don’t agree with your idea on how to get rid of illegals but I do agree that we must rid society of these leeches. I hate em too but not to the extent of causing physical harm to these people, just send em packin back to mexico and I will be happy. Ease up a little buddy, your givin us white guys bad names here.

  2. Blanca Rivas-Villarreal says:

    Not all illegals are from Mexico (Tom), you white guys show not only your ignorance but your true colors. Anyhow, us Catholics forgive the ignorance of people, Wilbur. Wilbur wasn’t that the name of a pig?