DoE investigates mystery of dead fish

| 25/06/2010

(CNS): 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, possibly white-spotted filefish, but because of their young stage of development the department is unable to identify the species with certainly. “Despite the large number of dead fish observed over several miles on southern and central Seven Mile Beach we do not suspect that there is a systemic environmental problem at this time,” said John Bothwell, Senior Research Officer with the Department of Environment.

“Though we do not yet know what caused this die-off, we haven’t found any other marine species that have been affected and so it is more likely some temporary environmental change that killed the large school of juvenile fish. Because of their extreme juvenile stage even a small natural change could have caused the die-off and we will probably never know its source,” he explained.
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.

Department staff have checked other coastlines around the Cayman Islands and seen no other incidences of a fish die-off but the public can report any new sightings of large numbers of dead fish to the department at 949-8469 or


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  1. Mat says:

    I hate to say it –

    But this could be a PRELUDE to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – now over 1 million barrels of oil in the sea and many along the gulf coast are witnessing the dead fish

  2. Anonymous says:

    Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide gas plumes are possible throughout the Gulf, perhaps they are more more widespread than previously thought??

    Hope its just a normal fish kill related to local environmental issues (i.e. eutrophication, low DO)

    Concerned Scientist

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please, please get someone who knows about these problems to investigate immediately!!  If there are miles of little dead fish we need to find the cause of this problem immediately  without  DELAY!!!   People especially children bathe in these waters  CNS could you please let the Env. Dept.  know that this is very, very serious and update us with information!  I will be calling them myself.

  4. Here is a tip says:

    I was at the beach last weekend and swimming just in front of the condos next to the Public Beach. apart from being "watched" by the people staying in the condos to make sure we didnt cross the property line despite being more than 10 feet away from it, there was also a very strong sewage smell and it appeared to be coming from the condos. Perhaps their "stuff" is leaking into the sea and kicking off a bacterial infestation on the beach. I immediately felt sick after swimming there for 1/2 hour and thought I was coming down with a stomach bug.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They Turbits!   =)

    • Concern Caymanian says:

      Yes  , I think you are right, this is the time they are schooling on the 12 mile bank and spawning

  6. Frequent Flyer says:

    Awwwwwww That’s really awful and sad.

    The numbers in the beach photo are staggering!

  7. Anonymous says:


    I understand over 1 million barrels of oil!  What will our government do when a hurricane or storm drifts some the oil to our shores?

    • Jab-Jab says:

      1) Go do a web search for Caribbean Currents. Look what direction the currents from Cayman’s part of the Caribbean.

      2) Go do a web search for Caribbean Hurricane Paths. Look what direction hurricane’s travel through the Caribbean.

      Now ask yourself what the chance is of the oil from the gulf getting to Cayman (1) against the currents and (2) against the path of the hurricane you’re worried about.

    • NIGHT FLYER says:

      Never ever gonna drfit this way, have you not heard of the gulf stream? thought the World and his wife knew bowt that.