Half a million mussels found dead on a beach in New Zealand

Climate change has yet again taken the lives of many living beings. This time its in New Zealand on Maunganui Bluff Beach. A local, Brandon Ferguson and his family found hundreds of thousands of dead mussels washed up on the shore last week.

He was on his way to gathering food with his family and friends when he noticed the devastating sight at the beach.  Mr Ferguson had posted a video of the same on Facebook.

“It smelled like dead rotting seafood,” Ferguson said. “Some of the mussels were empty, some of them were dead. Some were just floating around in the tide. There were well over 500,000 mussels and shells littering the coastline.”

He blames the rising temperature and warming sea waters for the deaths of these green-lipped mussels. He said that he had witnessed this type of event on the same beach in the past, with different types of shellfish washing up dead along the shores.

A 2019 report from the New Zealand government says that between 1981 and 2018, overall sea-surface temperatures across New Zealand’s four oceanic regions, including Chatham Rise, the Tasman Sea, subtropical, and subantarctic increased between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. This is a substantial increase and has a devastating effect on marine ecology.

New Zealand’s Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson writes in the report that New Zealand’s oceans act like a giant sponge against the effects of climate change. He says ability of water to absorb carbon dioxide is reduced when it gets warmer, creating a strong impact on climate change.

“The growth of species in the oceans is affected, and coastal communities and habitats are at risk from flooding and sea-level rise,” Robertson says.


Posted by Brandon Ferguson on Saturday, February 8, 2020


Andrew Jeff a marine scientist at the University of Auckland, somewhat agrees with Fergusen by saying that that the mussels in his video likely died from “heat stress” brought on by hot weather and mid-day low tides. Jeffs also added the stark prediction that soon the molluscs may disappear entirely from New Zealand as temperatures continue to rise.

As the crisis of climate change intensifies with each passing day more and more life forms are facing death. Ferguson fears that the future generation might miss out on many things. He is heart broken to see the native species of his hometown disappear.

He says that he had shared his video in the hopes that the global community would take notice of the effects of climate change happening right outside his doorstep. If incidents like this don’t open the eyes of governments all over the globe, life on this planet will go down an irreversible path of destruction.


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