From: Rocky Ward <rachelleward>
Date: Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:37 am
Subject: Fwd: Mass Beaching of Croaker Fish in Virginia
Scientists Stumped by Dead Croakers
September 9, 2004, 9:33 PM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Thousands of croakers have washed ashore at
beaches along the Atlantic coast in recent days, the latest mass
deaths of the popular sport fish.
Researchers have so far been unable to explain why only Atlantic
croakers have been struck along the coast, south to Florida.
Theories include a virus of some sort or cold-water upwellings that
shock weakened croakers as they swim along the coast. A team of
scientists from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Florida is
searching for answers.
The croakers are apparently suffocating, their gills left bleeding.
In some cases, they have been seen swimming near the water’s
surface — odd behavior for a bottom-feeding fish.