Tens of thousands of crustaceans wash ashore along miles of Mokuleia beaches

Tens of thousands of crustaceans wash ashore along miles of Mokuleia beaches
Updated: May. 3, 2017 at 8:40 PM HST
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MOKULEIA,OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's an odd pink tint to the sand along Mokuleia thanks to tens of thousands tiny crustaceans that have washed ashore.

But what the creatures are and where they came from is a bit of a mystery.

"I don't know what's going on over there. But I've never seen anything like this," said resident said Elisah Rivera. "And it's millions, it's not thousands, it's millions. We actually walked all the way along the way, and it went all the way, about two miles down."

North Shore residents say they first noticed the small creatures on Tuesday.

It's unclear what they are. Some say they're crabs, others say shrimp, some suspect lobsters.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources ays they appear to be baby shrimp.

"The eggs spawn at sea and the hatched larvae return with the tide to the shore where they will settle on the reef," said DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward. "Sometimes storms happen when the larvae are returning, the larvae get caught in the water turbulence and die. The returning tides bring these dead larvae to shore where they wash up on the beaches."

The DLNR said the rain over the weekend is what caused the die-off.

Environmentalist Carroll Cox he found about a dozen dead sea cucumbers washed up on shore as well. He believes the creatures are baby crabs.

'There are other species. I just noticed sea cucumbers found in a small area along with the crab. So that causes concern when you have more than one species impacted with an event. That should trigger some alarm," Cox said.

DLNR officials say while the episode is not common, it's nothing to be concerned about.

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