On Saturday Night Live this past weekend, Andy Samberg joked about the “aflockalypse” and the “apocafish” in reference to the mass deaths of various wildlife. Blackbirds fell out of the sky on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas, 40,000 crabs died in Britain, and 2 million fish in the Chesapeake Bay are floating belly up. Are these mass deaths the sign of something sinister? Will there soon be no safe fish to catch? Not even close, expert biologists are saying.
According to biologists, mass die-offs happen all the time. Federal records show they happen as often as every other day in North America. In the past eight months, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Heath Center has recorded 95 mass wildlife die-offs in North America, and suggests that the number is actually a dramatic undercount. Weather, pollution, parasites, and disease lead to mass die-offs globally every year. With the world so connected by technology, people are trying to make global connections between the deaths that don’t really exist. For all you dedicated boaters, stock up on your Evinrude xd50 oil, because there’s no need to worry about cruising through lakes of dead fish when you take your motor boat out this summer.