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Poison Waters

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Published on Aug 15, 2008

Our insatiable demand for seafood affects more than just life in the ocean. Bizarre and often unpredictable effects are rippling out far beyond the shoreline; off the coast of Namibia, a once vibrant fishing community is struggling to recover while putrid fumes rise from the ocean depths, causing townspeople to gag and carpeting the beaches in dead fish. Ecologist Bronwen Currie is working with satellite oceanographer Scarla Weeks and biologist Andrew Bakun to understand what's behind these phenomena. Through dogged sleuthing, the team reveals these stench events are orders of magnitude larger than ever imagined, and may be influenced by the over-fishing of a small silver fish. Could these events really be caused by a massive shortage of sardines?

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