The wash-up of small flying gurnard fish on various Oahu beaches in July was likely a result of recruitment pulse events, with fish accidentally washing ashore., according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Recruitment is a scientific term that describes the point in organisms' life cycles when juveniles become adults. That's the finding of the U.S. Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, which tested carcasses after the fish were found on beaches from Fort DeRussy to Ko Olina during a two-week period in July.
Carcasses from four beaches were tested, and the Diagnostic Case Report was submitted by the USGS to DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources. Field surveys showed the fish were behaving normally.
Additionally, tests found no evidence of infectious disease or any microscopic lesions that might indicate toxic disease.
The USGS report also noted that a similar event was documented on Oahu in July, 2004 and that no significant lesions were found at that time.
Tests were conducted on fish collected at Fort DeRussy, Rock Piles, Kakaako State Beach Park and Ko Olina.
Beach goers who notice any unusual wash-ups of marine life are encouraged to report it to the Eyes of the Reef Network. The link can be found on the DLNR Reef Response website.