Swarms of dead, dying krill sweep up onto Eilat beach
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Marine mystery

Swarms of dead, dying krill sweep up onto Eilat beach

Cause not immediately clear; in the past, parasites caused massive die-backs of shrimp-like crustacean in Oregon, while in Baja California ocean temperatures and nutrients blamed

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Dead and dying krill washed up on a beach in Eilat for reasons that remain unclear, May 13, 2020. (Omri Yossef Omessi, Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
Dead and dying krill washed up on a beach in Eilat for reasons that remain unclear, May 13, 2020. (Omri Yossef Omessi, Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

Massive waves of dead or dying krill flooded a beach in the southern city of Eilat on Wednesday for reasons that remain unclear.

The same thing has happened in the past but on a much smaller scale, according to Dr. Assaf Zvuloni, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority ecologist for Eilat.

The phenomenon has been documented in other parts of the world, notably in the US state of Oregon, where an aggressive parasite caused a major die-back, and in southern Baja California, where low surface water temperatures and a high level of nutrients were blamed.

Research will be needed to determine the cause of death of the krill in Eilat.

Krill are an essential part of the marine food chain, providing food for many larger creatures, from fish to blue whales.

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