Kauai marine deaths being investigated

LIHUE — The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources is investigating reports received on Monday of between 500 and 800 dead and dying lanternfish and squid near Nawiliwili.

These lanternfish and squid are known to inhabit the deeper ocean mesopelagic depths, ranging between 100 and 200 meters or deeper. They are known for their nightly vertical migrations to shallower depths. A nearshore nexus is unknown.

Kauai DAR staff is collecting samples and assessing these reports in collaboration with U.S. Geological Survey biologists to collect samples that will help to identify potential causes.          

The Eyes of the Reef Network serves as extra eyes in local coastal areas. The public’s help is needed to determine how widespread the mortality event is.

The public is being asked to:

1. Take a moment to look for dead or dying marine life in large numbers on nearby beaches.

2. Make a report using the EOR Network “Fish Disease and Miscellaneous” online report form (www.eorhawaii.org/make-a-report). Reports of both beaches with and without dead or dying marine life are needed.

3. Please do not collect samples or specimens at this time. If specimens are present on Kauai, call DAR at 645-0532 or 482-4297.

EOR reports should include name, contact information, location, date, type of animal, number of animals, over what time period and whether photos are available.

Photos cannot be attached to the online form. Please submit photos to RRCPCoordinator@eyesofthereef.org with the information listed above.

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