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Sanibel sees uptick in marine life kills on western end of island

August 8, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

As in the past three days, the dead sea life deposits today on Sanibel are heavier on the bayside, while there has been a slight increase in the volume observed on the island's western end for the first time.

The city of Sanibel has released its first break of day reports. A higher volume of deposits have been reported on the bayside, which is challenging due to the limited access to some areas. In response, city officials have deployed both boats for water-borne crews and for hand crews in the bayside locations.

Officials noted that today's deposits of dead sea life on the Gulf side at Lighthouse Beach remain similar to Aug. 7, with lighter and significantly less volumes deposited mid-island so far. Also, there is a slight uptick in volume on the western end, specifically at Bowman's Beach and Blind Pass Beach.

Article Photos

On Aug. 7, the city removed three large carcasses - two goliath grouper and one tarpon - and thousands of smaller dead sea life.

Two shifts of clean-up crews are continuing to work the beaches daily in an effort to catch deposits after the second tide of the day. Officials reported that the greatest deposits occur during low tide.

Large carcasses inventory for Aug. 7:

- Goliath grouper: Two at 100 pounds

- Tarpon: One at 100 pounds

Today's first light of day report from Public Works staff is as follows:

- Lighthouse Beach

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Present

Odor: Present

Deposits: Approximately 10 dead sea life every 10 feet

- Sanibel Boat Ramp

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Present

Odor: Yes

Deposits: Approximately 20 dead sea life every 10 feet

- Algiers Beach (Gulfside City Park)

Current Conditions: Fair to good

Red Tide: Present

Odor: Present

Deposits: Approximately five dead sea life every 10 feet

- Tarpon Bay Beach

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Low

Odor: Not present

Deposits: Approximately zero dead sea life every 10 feet at high tide

- Bowman's Beach

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Not present

Odor: Slight

Deposits: Approximately three dead sea life every 10 feet

- Blind Pass

Current Conditions: Fair

Red Tide: Slight to moderate presence

Odor: Slight

Deposits: Approximately 12 dead sea life every 10 feet

- Turner Beach Park

Current Conditions: Good to excellent

Red Tide: Not present

Odor: None

Deposits: Zero deposits of dead sea life

Based on tides, winds and currents, the conditions may alter quickly and significantly.

If you encounter any dead sea life washed ashore on private property that is too large to be removed by hand, email address and location to j.zimomra@mysanibel.com and attach a photo if possible.

A large portion of the dead fish on the beach are catfish. The pectoral (side) fins and dorsal (top) fin contain sharp venomous spines; extreme care should be used when handling the fish. Beach-goers should also avoid stepping on dead catfish as some sharp barbs can even penetrate the sole of a shoe.

Under the direction of the Sanibel Department of Public Works, the city has three basic operations underway to remove dead sea life from the island:

- Beach clean-up

- Canal clean-up and waterside removal

- "Rapid Response Team" primarily addressing large carcasses

The Sanibel Boat Ramp is the staging area for the canal and water-borne clean-up operations. All dead sea life is being loaded into dumpsters at the beach for transport off-island or transported back to the Public Works yard for disposal or to be hauled off-island by Advanced Disposal. Additional dumpsters have been deployed to Public Works for debris disposal. At this time, public access to the boat ramp is permitted.

 
 

 

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