Officials: Baitfish in New Jersey River Killed by Bluefish

New Jersey environmental officials say that a swarm of bluefish are killing off local fish in the Navesink River, though they assure the public that it is a natural phenomenon.

RED BANK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey environmental officials say a swarm of bluefish is killing off local baitfish in the

Navesink (NAV’-eh-sink) River, though they assure the public it is a natural phenomenon.

The Asbury Park Press reports (http://on.app.com/2pcWaEn ) the Jersey shore is in the middle of a “bluefish run,” where bluefish as big as 16 pounds are being found in the waterways.

However, local environmental activists say officials are downplaying other causes. Paul Eidman, founder of a sustainable management group for menhaden, says the menhaden have also been affected by a spinning virus, which would cause the fish to act erratically. Eidman says the virus is isolated to menhaden populations.

A spokesperson for the state Environmental Protection Department says the die-off is typical for fish populations cornered by bluefish.

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