BILOXI, Miss. – Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources have confirmed that a jubilee is occurring in the Mississippi Sound due to weather conditions.
On Wednesday, several different species of finfish, as well as shrimp, crabs, and eels were found near the Gulfport and Long Beach harbors. By early Thursday, shrimp, crabs, and eels began washing up onshore from the Broadwater in Biloxi to west of the Pass Christian Harbor. There were no finfish found on the shore Thursday morning.
MDMR scientists analyzed water samples Wednesday at various locations and found that the main cause was low oxygen. There was no indication of a toxic algal bloom.
“A jubilee occurs when the water is extremely warm and the waters are calm with very little wind, causing the oxygen levels in shallow water to drop to lethal levels” said Matt Hill, director of MDMR’s Finfish Bureau. “This will continue as long as these conditions exist.”
Scientists will continue to take water samples Thursday.
Many people gather along the beach to collect the seafood that washes onshore during a jubilee. Typically, the seafood collected during a jubilee is safe to eat; however, people still need to be cautious.
“Currently our samples don’t indicate that there are toxins present in the water, so the seafood likely is safe,” Hill said. “However, the seafood still should be handled, stored and cooked properly. Also, if any seafood is dead, and it looks like it’s been dead for awhile, it’s best not to eat it.”
Hill also said that people need to remember they must have the proper license in order to possess the seafood. Also, all size and possession limits still apply to any seafood picked up on the beach.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting, and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.