The epicenter of where the leopard sharks are turning up dead is Redwood City, California. This event doesn’t mark the first time leopard sharks have experienced a die-off. Back in 2011 and again in 2016 leopard sharks had a population decrease. The 2011 happening involved 1,000 dead sharks washing up on shore and this year’s die-off could be of that magnitude as well.
According to Sean Van Sommeran, founder and executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, an education and shark research consortium based in Santa Cruz, California, this event could be “just the tip of the iceberg.”
Sommeran offers a possible explanation for many of the dead sharks found in Redwood City. During low tide, the Redwood City tide gates are closed to prevent flooding during the rainy season. When the tide is low, leopard sharks swim into the shallow water to mate.
When those flood gates close, the sharks get trapped and exposed to storm water runoff, which contains what Van Sommeran calls ‘extra crud going into the watershed.’ The water inside the gates becomes stagnant and creates a toxic environment in which the shark cannot survive. When the tide gates are reopened, those rotting carcasses of dead sharks are released into the waters and then contaminate others.”
Other marine biologists are concerned there may be another explanation. In the six years since the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear catastrophe, there have been mass ocean life deaths throughout the Pacific Ocean and West Coast affecting one-celled organisms, smaller fish, tuna fish and now moving up the food chain to an ocean predator, the leopard shark.
Unknown microorganisms were discovered in a Great White Shark that perished due to multiple organ failure. Other sharks off the west coast have died from unknown pathogens and shared brain infections across species. Could this possibly have anything to do with the plumes of radiation from the Fukushima meltdown that have been detected on Oregon’s shores?”
Whatever the cause, marine biologists and other scientists will closely monitor the leopard shark die-off to determine if it’s a sign of a multitude of problems in the Pacific Ocean ecosystem or a more localized problem.
Source: Natural News