May 27, 2009

Thousands of fish die in Baltimore Harbor

A seasonal algae bloom is believed responsible for the recent deaths of more than 3,000 fish in Baltimore's harbor, the Maryland Department of Environment says.

Department spokeswoman Dawn Stoltzfus says the harbor tends to get a large boom of the algae Prorocentrum minimum this time of year and higher water temperatures might have triggered it to die off suddenly, causing a drop in oxygen levels, the Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

The dead fish, primarily menhaden, were mostly congregated around the Domino Sugar plant at Locust Point.

Surrounding neighborhoods reported a foul odor Monday night.

Stoltzfus says there could be additional blooms and fish kills in other areas.