Why Are Fish Suddenly Dying By the Millions?


Over the past several months there has been an alarming number of dead fish and other sea creatures washing up all over the planet. In many places more than 30 tons of fish have washed up dead.

Chile, a place where there is a massive amount of coast with beautiful beaches, is awash with dead animals. The Smithsonian Magazine states:

As Giovanna Fleitas reports for the Agence France-Presse, the South American country’s beaches are covered with piles of dead sea creatures—and scientists are trying to figure out why.

Tales of dead animals washing up on shore are relatively common; after all, the ocean has a weird way of depositing its dead on shore. But Chile’s problem is getting slightly out of hand. As Fleitas writes, recent months have not been kind to the Chilean coast, which has played host to washed-up carcasses of over 300 whales, 8,000 tons of sardines, and nearly 12 percent of the country’s annual salmon catch, to name a few.

The fish are piling up so quickly it is difficult for Chile to even make a dent in the clean up.

In Vietnam the incidents of dead fish have become so bad that soldiers are being deployed to bury them:

Millions of fish have washed up dead along a 125-kilometre stretch of the Vietnamese coast in one of the communist country’s worst environmental disasters.

Soldiers have been deployed to bury tonnes of fish, clams and the occasional whale that began dying in early April along the north-central coast, including some popular tourist beaches.

Vietnamese officials facing growing anger over the disaster have not announced the official cause of the deaths, which have affected the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families.

In southern China, 35 tons of dead fish appeared in a lake in the Hainan province. Local authorities say that the fish died as a result of salinity change.

In Bolivia thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of Lake Alalay. And in Brazil more than 200 tons of dead fish were removed from the Furnas Lake in Alfenas.

Several more examples include India, Cambodia, Colombia, and Indonesia. In most of these cases the cause is unknown. Could it be climate change? Human effect on the environment? Let’s hope we can remedy some of the problem before it gets worse.


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Ruth Milka started as an intern for NationofChange in 2015. Known for her thoughtful and thorough approach, Ruth is committed to shedding light on the intersection of environmental issues and their impact on human communities. Her reporting consistently highlights the urgency of environmental challenges while emphasizing the human stories at the heart of these issues. Ruth’s work is driven by a passion for truth and a dedication to informing the public about critical global matters concerning the environment and human rights.