The neurotoxin is believed to have been a key factor in driving the sardines into the harbor, but is actually thought that oxygen depletion was the cause of death. Domoic acid (DA, the neurotoxin in question) is a naturally occurring toxin produced by proliferating algae. Found along both coasts of the United States, shellfish and filter feeders (including sardines) can withstand high amounts of DA without ill effects, but can be deadly to mammals.
The latest information confirms that there were high levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid found in the sardines – which has been linked to neurological disorders, illnesses and deaths of seabirds, sea lions, sea otters and whales as well as sardines. When it accumulates in edible fish and shellfish, it can sicken humans. This can sometimes happen when fish have been feeding on plankton during toxic algae blooms.
The fish were being taken to a facilitly in Victorville to be converted into organic compost (fertilizer).
Sardines in Redondo Beach : Redondo Beach, CA Sardine deaths
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