Millions of shrimp-like critters called krill have died and washed ashore in northern California, US, last month. Though this krill loss is not expected to impact marine life local communities are asked to watch and report if they notice new stranding.
Scientists are still researching what exactly caused this massive die-off but it is known that it is geographically largest krill die-off on record.
Krill feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton and northwest winds push the, nutrient rich, surface water offshore toward them. The examination showed that the krill were in mating season which would bring them closer to the ocean surface. When winds rapidly changed, which was evident in the buoy data just prior to stranding, it probably caught them unprepared and caused them to ashore. Read PressDemocrat report for more information on locations, statements and theories on past month's krill die-off.
Krill is a general term used to describe about 85 species of open-ocean crustaceans known as euphausiids. They are food for host of ocean species and an important trophic level connection located near the bottom of the food chain.
There is growing concern for the balance of ecosystem if massive fishing of krill and their die-offs continue. The Disaffected Lib blog wrote earlier this year "People of the Pacific northwest know full well that krill are the foundation of our marine food chain… we are all connected. Which is why it was alarming to read in Asia Times Online that giant fishing trawlers from Europe and Asia are now stalking krill in Antarctic waters."
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.