11-1-13 Krill die-off - Metlakatla, Alaska, USA
Observation: There was a large shrimp die-off creating a berm of dead shrimp all along the shore in Metlakatla. This is very unusual and the reason for the die-off is a mystery. People in Metlakatla depend on the shrimp fishery for subsistence, and wonder about the cause of this die-off. The area of dead shrimp extended for about 75 yards along the beach. We are wondering if Saxman or other communities had die-offs like this. Brian Holter Jr.
Sea Grant Alaska - Marine Advisory Program Consult: Gary Freitag, MAP Agent writes, "This is the same thing I've seen for years down here. I suspect it may be related to the bubble net feeding (of humpback whales). I'm sure the krill get real thick at times and the humpacks home in on it and this may be the overflow from the straining by the whales , here's a closeup shot I took in April of 2008 here in Ketchikan. The wind was blowing onto the beach , so any stunned krill would wash ashore . Also I have a about 3 krill of them in a test tube in a preservative from this day." Source: Marine Advisory Program (MAP), University of Alaska Fairbanks