DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — Approximately 21,000 fish at the UC Davis Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture died after chlorine exposure, according to a news release from UC Davis.
University officials said they are currently investigating where their process failed as well as notifying collaborators, regulatory and funding agencies.
“We know that many researchers, regulatory agencies, Native American tribes, and other partners trust us to care for their aquatic species,” the release said. “We will work hard to earn that trust by conducting a thorough review of our facilities, holding ourselves accountable for what happened, and taking steps to prevent it from happening ever again.”
University officials are caring for the surviving fish, reviewing the processes in other facilities, and initiating an independent external review.
UC CABA conducted an investigation of “bioenergetics and environmental stressors on fish species” such as the green and white sturgeon and the endangered Chinook salmon.
The other facilities at UC Davis that conduct aquatic research were not impacted by the situation due to the fact that they do not have the potential for chlorine exposure. Those that are potentially affected are being evaluated.
“We share the grief of the faculty, staff and students who worked to care for, study and conserve these animals,” the release said “The people who conduct and support the research at this facility are conservationists, ecologists and veterinarians whose life work is devoted to understanding and supporting these species. We recognize that this loss is particularly devastating to our community. We commit to understanding what happened and making changes to the facility so that we can ensure that this does not happen again.