Dead fish white-out at Bayside Beach Saka

Hundreds of dead fish were found washed ashore at Bayside Beach Saka on February 3, 2023.

About 500 adult kokoshiro (dotted gizzard shad) fish, about 20 cm in length, were found scattered along the shoreline at the popular summer swim beach east of Hiroshima city. Around 50 were found floating on the surface of the water and many many more had sunk to the bottom of the sea.

A 72-year-old man who takes a walk along the beach there almost every day, said, “It has been like this since around January 30, and when it was bad, the fish seemed to cover the entire sea.”

Hiroshima prefectural government’s Environmental Conservation Division tested the quality of the seawater and found no abnormalities in the hydrogen ion index or the amount of dissolved oxygen. Since no fish or other creatures other than the kokoshiro seem to have been affected, no toxic substances are thought to have leaked into the water.

An expert in the prefecture who is familiar with fish die-offs said, “We cannot be certain, but it is possible that a school of kokoshiro was chased into the bay by natural enemies, such as yellowtail, sunameri finless porpoises and cormorants, and washed up on the beach.

The prefectural government’s Environmental Conservation Division is to continue monitoring the surrounding waters.

Source: Chugoku Shinbun