SAN FRANCISCO—A toxic algae bloom that was detected back in late July around the Oakland and Alameda areas killed thousands of fish sparking health concerns as well as an unpleasant foul odor. The bloom has since reached San Pablo Bay miles from where it originated.  

Fish carcasses of different species can be found along San Francisco’s coastline. An estimated 10,000 yellowfin gobies died along with hundreds of striped bass sturgeon. Earlier this week it was reported that Oakland’s Lake Merritt was bombarded with thousands of fish carcasses resulting in the removal of 1,200 pounds of fish from the lake’s shores on August 31. 

The species of algae to blame is called Heterosigma akashiwo and is the type of algae that can cause red tides which is considered to be one of the most harmful types of algae blooms. Its presence causes the water to appear as a reddish brown and is visible to the naked eye. 

While the algae itself is not toxic to humans it can cause eye and skin irritation. Local health officials advise against going into the water. It is also strongly advised that pet owners keep their pets far from the ocean at this time. Many water sports teams have canceled upcoming activities due to these warnings. 

The San Francisco News reached out to local sea food restaurants in the area to see how the algae bloom affected business since these blooms are known to produce toxins that make shellfish dangerous to eat. 

Bob Partrite, who is the Chief Operating Officer from the restaurant Fog Harbor, wrote to the San Francisco News in an email stating that, “we currently are not selling anything from the bay so our menus are not affected.  We are sourcing fresh crabs from Canada, and fresh halibut from the north.”