Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Scientists investigate massive fish deaths at Costa Rican beach

April 3, 2009
A massive fish kill along Playa Lagarto, in Costa Rica´s northwestern Guanacaste province, has sparked national investigations.

The Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA) is working with national universities to determine what killed thousands of fish near the beach last week.

Researchers from the Center Of Microscopic Electronics at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) took water samples for analysis shortly after the kill occurred. They expect to have results before Friday.

Officials cannot confirm the cause of death until testing is complete, but said that a red tide – a harmful algae bloom that can suffocate marine life – or a chemical spill are both possible reasons for the large kill.

One researcher at the UCR told The Tico Times that red tides are normal this time of year, but said that both the size and the amount of the dead fish could indicate a different cause.

Red tides usually kill small fish, like sardines, and in smaller numbers, the researcher said.

Leonel Hernández, a Guanacaste resident, said he saw fish weighing as much as 14 kilograms, including sardines and other species, lying on the beach.

Marvin Mora, interim technical director of INCOPESCA, said citizens and tourists should not eat fish from Playa Lagarto until further notice. He said INCOPESCA will inform the public when the results of the sample analysis are complete.

You may be interested

Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitors
Costa Rica
1123 views
Costa Rica
1123 views

Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitors

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020

Costa Rica will open its doors to the arrival of tourists from Mexico, after considering a drop in reported Covid-19…

Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]
Costa Rica
2281 views
Costa Rica
2281 views

Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020

Since September 1, Costa Rica has welcomed tourists from a growing number of U.S. states. According to Gustavo Segura, Costa…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25
Costa Rica
5542 views
Costa Rica
5542 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 25, 2020

Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 812, according to official data…