On Friday, September 8, 2023, Bang Phra Beach in Sri Racha, Thailand became the epicenter of a mass marine mortality event. An immense number of dead fish washed ashore, believed to be the aftermath of a recent monsoon affecting the sea’s conditions.
The picturesque Bang Phra Beach of Sri Racha offered a grim sight to locals and visitors alike when vast quantities of fish carcasses covered its shores. The magnitude of the event left many stunned, with the number of fish being so overwhelming that providing an accurate count became impossible.
In their interaction with Thai media outlets, locals who have long observed the intricacies of marine ecosystems speculated on the likely causes. The central theory revolved around the recent, severe monsoon which swept across Thailand. Interestingly, while areas like Pattaya remained untouched by the rain’s fury, its aftermath was strongly felt in the changing composition of the sea nearby. The extensive rainfall introduced large volumes of freshwater into the sea, leading to a rapid transformation in its conditions.
The foremost consequence of this alteration was the manifestation of a natural event referred to as a plankton bloom. For many, its primary identifier is the distinct green tint it gives to the seawater, combined with a notable unpleasant smell. However, its implications run far deeper. The explosion in plankton numbers results in a significant drop in the water’s oxygen content. Consequently, the water becomes lethal for fish, as they are unable to survive in the oxygen-deprived environment.
Local officials and authorities estimate the seawater’s conditions are likely to revert to their normal state in approximately one week. During this period, efforts will be made to manage the aftermath of the incident and prevent any further escalation.
1 Sudden plankton bloom in Sri Racha leads to mass fish mortality – Thaiger – September 10, 2023
Featured image credit: EJanNews (stillshot)
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