WHY IS FLORIDA LOSING SO MANY FISH?
That’s a pretty difficult question to answer and as yet I highly doubt I’m going to be able to answer it anytime soon, especially when you’ve so much evidence of [clean beaches in Florida.] Back in 2015 and 2016 Florida won numerous beach awards naming: Lovers Key, Henderson Beach State Park, Fort de Soto, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Caladesi Island, Pass-A-Grille-Beach, Playalinda, Siesta Key, Clear Water Beach, and finally the Gulf Islands National Seashore as the top ten clean beaches. So dirty beaches are for now being ruled out, not entirely though. We still have the issue of waste, and pollution that isn’t being seen at ground level! I only rule things out when I can without a doubt prove it isn’t to blame.
When researching all beaches in Florida they truly are immaculate, maintained to some of the worlds highest standards, laws are in place for littering, pollution, and fly tipping too of which I thank the people of Florida and the Marine Environmental Department. Florida’s beach waters themselves are pretty much clean inland too, and in many areas practically crystal clear. I don’t believe based on years of studying aquatic deaths that the problem is occurring along the beaches of Florida neither as such!
Furthermore I’ve undertook countless studies on seismic activity in the region of which there isn’t any cause for concern here neither. However as explained above this isn’t being ruled out. Just because Florida lies within a low seismic activity region - doesn’t mean there aren’t any ancient fault lines. A few more lines of investigation I’ve opened up focuses on fracking, blasting, and the United States Navy that’s been witnessed testing numerous vessels in the oceans off Florida detonating thousands of pounds of explosives during peak fish movement and migratory movements from the months of January to March which is when we’re witnessing a large number of stranding’s.
Recently I’ve been comparing whale stranding’s in New Zealand to those in Florida. I refer to Florida and New Zealand as a type of “barrier like country.” Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida and Cuba. Florida is the only U.S country that sticks out into the sea (hence the term barrier like.)
So if we now take New Zealand - although the island isn’t connected to a continent or another country it is in a sense like a barrier type country (if that doesn’t make sense then please do ask, and I’ll explain.) I’ve also been researching mass fish migration too - like numerous other scientists. If we take the months from January to March the entire coast of Florida is inundated with numerous fish migrations and general native fish movements/spawning etc. From January to March and taking into consideration my own studies, its at these peak months that I’ve noticed patterns relating to fish and whale movements. Could this be a major clue?
The following species of fish move around Florida’s coastlines during the months mentioned being: Amberjack, Bass, Largemouth, Bass, Sunshine, Crappie, Black, Drum, Black, Grouper, Black, Grouper, Gag, Grouper, Red, Ladyfish, Mackerel, King, Pompano, Sheepshead, Snapper, Lane, Snook Sunfish, and Redear. While we know these fish migrate and generally move around the Florida coastlines we still don’t know much about the migrations of large aquatic fauna such as False Killer Whales, or what they prefer to consume. I’ve mentioned the False Killer Whale due to one of the biggest stranding’s in Florida relating to these animals.
Some research has proven False Killer Whales do consume a large number of the fish aforementioned above. The Pseudorca crassidens has been filmed consuming Bass and Mackerel being the smaller species of fish. Amberjack, Snapper, and Sheepshead have also been noted too. From January to March non-endemic squid also enter Florida’s waters too which does coincide with Whale and other larger marine life stranding’s. I must also point out that the Northern Shortfin Squid spawn off the coast of Florida during the winter months where they ride the current north, coinciding with the seasonal commercial squid fishery off the Mid-Atlantic in the summer and autumn.
Aquatic death reporting from 2011-2017 also shows evidence of aquatic stranding’s along the coastlines of Florida during the Shortfin Squid spawning season through the winter months. Squid have been noted a top prey food for Whales, False Killer Whales and Dolphins. Moreover if larger aquatic fauna are chasing prey into what I refer to as (barrier like countries and/or islands) its highly likely that some of the stranding’s we’re witnessing is as a direct result of smaller fish movements giving their prey the slip in areas where I perceive to be somewhat difficult for larger aquatic life to navigate through and/or around.
One only needs to view where Florida is situated on the map (see image below,) and taking into consideration the smaller regions around Florida such as The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Cuba to understand that squid and other smaller fish prey can easily give whales the slip in such difficult to navigate waters. And with so many smaller regions dotted about with that small gap between Florida and Cuba heading into the Gulf of Mexico, could this be a reason why we’re witnessing so many stranding’s of both fish and whales?
Are smaller fish deliberately heading towards the Florida coastlines when being chased by species such as Whales etc, then swiftly changing direction which in turn places the whales on a head on collision with the coastline? Is it possible that smaller prey have become that intelligent in relation to their survival behavior? E.g: On being chased one large group of prey fish breaks away from the other heading directly into the Gulf of Mexico - while the other smaller group deliberately heads towards the coastline in one last ditch attempt to lose the Whales?
A number of fish species which False Killer Whales consume have washed up on the coastlines of Florida in large masses. Its possible they may have also “deliberately stranded themselves” in order to confuse the chasing Whales thus allowing the other group to slip into the Gulf of Mexico and onto safety thus buying those fish more time to retreat to safety, or as explained - the break away group suddenly diverting at the last minute - and knowing they can because of their small size, which gives the predators no hope in chance of changing course fast enough resulting in immediate stranding’s.
While we know Whales and Dolphins etc are incredibly intelligent animals, when the hunt for food commences they like we humans focus on just that “the fight for survival.” Its possible that during this feeding frenzy and in such difficult to navigate waters - Whales and other lager marine life can become confused or disorientated should their smaller prey give them the slip (as explained above.) Squid and other smaller fishes believe it or not are also quite intelligent. Moreover there have been reports from 2011-2017 of “Squid Suicide stranding’s” which scientists have blamed on red blooms all over the U.S. however if you read this article below scientists still don’t know the exact cause as to why such organisms just deliberately kill themselves!
Taking the Africans Sardine Run as an example - Sardines will deliberately swim much closer to the shorelines knowing that Whales and other larger marine predators cannot get as close as they (the sardines.) So its “likely” that migrating and non-migratory fish in the Florida region are deliberately setting a trap for Whales and other large marine life. However we’re still talking about a pretty large stretch of water of which Toothed Whales, Orca’s, Sharks, and Dolphins etc can use echolocation and sonar to navigate around this rather tricky area of Florida, The Bahamas, Cuba, and and Puerto Rico.
In the video below you’ll notice what looks like black moving swarms of something? These are Anchovy fish swimming very close to the shoreline. This is a migration and swimming close to the shore means safety as much larger aquatic predators cannot come so close - should they take the risk its highly likely a stranding will occur thus resulting in a life and death situation - so we know such behavior does indeed occur.
I must stress though that on researching human fishing patterns last night and today, and fish migratory behavior etc, comparing these results with the months from 2011-2017 and weeding out the highest number of Whale, Shark, Dolphin, Manatee and False Killer Whale deaths. The data does indeed indicate that its quite possible in many cases relating to migration of smaller fish that larger aquatic life prey on and taking into consideration the location of Florida, Cuba, The Bahamas, and Puerto Rico that Whales are sadly becoming confused, and lost thus accidentally beaching during the active fish movement seasons.
Unfortunately even I cannot prove this and despite my own education to prove it I’d need a massive team of people communicating all over the world, compromising divers, boat teams, migratory researchers, Marine Biologists, and experts in various other fields. While reports are increasing relating to the number of Toothed Whale deaths Florida is by far the worst country in America known for mass marine stranding’s. The question remains though why? Please read the link below to understand just how big a problem we’re talking.
There are other theories that also need immense research too. For instance my own data collection from 2010-2017 indicates we’re now witnessing more aquatic life found dead on the oceans due to starvation. This itself obviously means only one thing, there is sadly a lack of fish within our oceans. So moving back to the increasing number of Whale stranding’s in Florida could this be a potential problem? I have raised this because in a sense it’s no different to human food shortages. When food is scarce we humans naturally go into survival mode; we’ll fight and chase after whatever we can locate, and go to great extremes in order to stay alive and not suffer from hunger. A large number of Whales in our oceans could actually be beaching themselves because of this reason (fighting to stay alive and going to great levels in order to locate food at whatever cost.) Please view the video below to understand more on marine wildlife and starvation at sea as a likely cause for death or extreme unpredictable behavior relating to survival.
Concluding the theory/question:
Firstly before finishing I would like to remind the public that not a single scientist knows why such large Whale stranding’s occur, nor do we know why Florida seems to be the only U.S. country where smaller fish stranding’s are occurring too. However if you look at the region where Florida is situated in the map above with The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Cuba its the perfect area for larger predators to hunt smaller prey. The larger predators know that by hunting prey in this region and pushing the prey into a more tighter and confined space - they’ve a much better chance of catching their prey. Moreover if our larger aquatic life is indeed literally starving to death at sea - they’ll behave like we humans and go to great extremes in order to local food.
If we look back to the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s into early 2000 these mass stranding’s of aquatic life were not occurring as they are today, one thing that is occurring on a weekly basis though are large fish deaths - our ocean are practically being depleted of smaller fish. And if that isn’t bad enough fisherman are also taking their share too. Furthermore while we know that smaller fish will deliberately swim closer to the shore to try and evade capture (like the Great Sardine Run.) What we don’t know as yet is if these smaller fish have evolved a newer but unfortunately deadlier survival tactic.
Have they become much smarter? Is it possible during the chase that the migratory prey fish swimming in to this region with larger prey on their tail have since evolved a tactic like Squid and are literally killing themselves in order to allow half of the fleeing prey population to swim freely into the Gulf of Mexico, while the other fish deliberately head for the Florida coastline thus running their predators into the shorelines on purpose? Or are they heading so close into land then suddenly diverting - giving the predators no hope whatsoever to change course in time thus ending the chase. As you can see we have a number of theories, yet so little time now to solve the problem that is growing increasingly out of control.
The theory is indeed possible. Finally there is a way to test if this theory is true which if it is can result in many Whales and larger aquatic life being saved before they’re deliberately ran into the ground. Models would need to be set up, taking Florida and other islands in the region away, and seeing what happens via computer analyzing. Should the smaller fish prey head for Mexico for instance with larger aquatic life hot on their tails - thus resulting in mass stranding’s in and around the Gulf of Mexico, then we’ve finally located the problem as to why Florida are reporting such spikes in aquatic deaths of larger and smaller marine life.
However this is all easier said than done. How do you stop for example 400 False Killer Whales or any pod of Whales heading towards a collision course? Can we confuse them with sonar without hurting them? Furthermore is this the main problem, or is there something more sinister going on within the oceans off the Florida coastline? Many people have pointed to the Fukushima Accident that occurred back in 2011 - however if this was true we’d be seeing the same problems all over the U.S coastlines identical to that of Florida.
Fish and whales along with small cetaceans don’t just strand themselves for no reason. Furthermore necropsy reports are coming back pretty much inconclusive which is a good thing as its showing us that what ever is going on in this region of America and South America could be 100% natural. As explained though we’ve not got much time left. We can write about these problems day in and day out, or we can do something about the problems or any problem that is potentially resulting in mass aquatic deaths.
On the 22nd April 2017 which is a Saturday from 09:00am I am organizing an international beach clean code named #OpBeachClean (please do use the hashtag.) Many volunteers have already come forward from England. Volunteers are also acting in the Netherlands, Viet Nam, and Thailand. Australia and the United States still need to be confirmed, Greece, Grenada, and Oman too. For more info please email >here< on Facebook.
Environmental, Botanical & Human Science.