1000′s of baby fish wash ashore dead south of Cuba, “rare in Cayman Islands”; Seaweed used for shelter now soaked with oil (PHOTOS)

Thousands of tiny fish wash ashore in Cayman Islands; officials unsure of cause, Associated Press, June 24, 2010:


Thousands of tiny speckled fish have washed up on the shores of the Cayman Islands, befuddling environmental officials who say they don’t know what caused the die-off.

The fish were found Wednesday scattered across Seven Mile Beach on the western shore of Grand Cayman Island, which lies in the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba.

John Bothwell, senior research officer at the Department of Environment, said… “Honestly, we don’t know what might have caused it”…

He added that he believes the dead fish are white spotted filefish…

White spotted filefish are rare in the Cayman Islands, Bothwell said. In the past, people used their skin as sandpaper.

DoE investigates mystery of dead fish, Cayman News Service, June 25, 2010:


The cause of a large number of dead juvenile fish along the waterline on Seven Mile Beach is unknown, according to the Department of Environment, and appears to be confined to a single species. The fish, which were reported to the DoE Wednesday 23 June, appeared to all be filefish fry about 2-3cm long…

Sample fish were taken and have been preserved for possible future examination. The Department has also posted a request for information on possible causes and assistance with identification of the species on the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.

See also: Biological Hazard, Cayman Islands Area Seven Mile Beach, 25/06/2010 – 18:08:05

Filefish under sargassum mat, Alabama Press-Register, June 5, 2010:

The long thin fish are filefish, common in the sargassum mats, but seldom seen elsewhere.

Baby filefish, Alabama Press-Register, June 5, 2010:

A baby filefish was caught in a fine net dredged through a mat of sargassum. Filefish grow up to about a foot long.

AL Press-Register

AL Press-Register

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