Half a million mussels cooked to death at a New Zealand beach likely because of climate change


mussels new zealand

New Zealand resident Brandon Ferguson discovered over 500,000 dead mussels and shells when he went walking along the shores of the Maunganui Bluff Beach in the country’s North Island.
Ferguson told Business Insider 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.
One expert said the mussels had essentially cooked to death due to hot weather and mid-day low tides.
Ferguson shared a video of the experience in the hopes that the global community would take notice of the effects of climate change happening right outside his doorstep.

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Hundreds of thousands of mussels cooked to death in New Zealand due to rising temperatures in New Zealand’s oceans.

New Zealand resident Brandon Ferguson posted a video on Facebook from Maunganui Bluff Beach, located on the country’s North Island, showing hundreds-of-thousands of dead mussels that had washed up on the shore.

Ferguson told Business Insider that he happened upon the sight while out with friends and family last week.

“I’m local to the area so I’m always out on ‘the coast’ gathering food for the family,” he said. “That day I was out with friends and family while they were fishing. We waited for the tide to turn so we could gather mussels.”

But instead, Ferguson saw hundreds of thousands of green-lipped mussels that had turned up dead.

“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.”

Ferguson 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. He blamed rising temperatures and warming sea waters for the phenomena.

“It has happened in the past due to warm water temperatures, low mid-day tides, and high pressures,” he said.


A 2019 report from the New Zealand government supports Ferguson’s theory — climate change has been warming sea temperatures, devastating the country’s native marine plants, animals and habitats.

According to the report, 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.

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Source:: Business Insider

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