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Thousands of fish wash up on Cornwall beach

Posted on Monday, 19 December, 2016 | Comment icon 12 comments

Marazion at St Michael's Mount is one of the worst hit areas. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Nilfanion
Vast quantities of mackerel and pilchard have washed up along the shore for the second time this month.
The distinctive shingle of one of England's most popular beaches was left transformed this week after it became covered in the shimmering remains of several hundred thousand fish.

The extraordinary mass beaching is the second to have taken place this month along the same stretch of coastline and experts have been left scratching their heads over the cause.

"The first thing I came across was a dolphin already decomposing and as I approached the shoreline, I was astonished," said beach visitor Katrina Slack.

"It was almost as if the waves were made up of thousands of shimmering fish."

"The closer I got I realised the beach was just covered in dead fish and more and more were coming in with every wave. It was a horrible but breathtaking scene."

One possible explanation is that the fish had been attempting to elude a large predator.

"It's quite unusual for fish to want to leave the water, it's usually a result of panic, because of a predator, but at this time of year that would be unusual," said marine expert James Wright.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (12)

Tags: Beach, Cornwall, Fish

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by IamthemanfromNantucket on 19 December, 2016, 22:43
McDonald's scooped them all up and are going to make a new Artisan fish sandwich out of them.
Comment icon #4 Posted by acute on 20 December, 2016, 12:36
I'm in Cornwall, waiting for the chips.
Comment icon #5 Posted by brlesq1 on 24 December, 2016, 13:24
Second time in a month, huh? I hope they can figure out what's happening.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Old Man by the Sea on 30 December, 2016, 10:34
Interesting the same things been happening on this side of the pond. Herring , lobster, crab etc. A whale as well, testing is ongoing... http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-dead-herring-lobsters-starfish-mystery-1.3914056
Comment icon #7 Posted by third_eye on 30 December, 2016, 10:53
Hope its not some massive as yet undetected dead zone in the middle of nowhere ... ~
Comment icon #8 Posted by ouija ouija on 30 December, 2016, 12:14
The last time we had that problem it was proved to be a nearby Naval exercise. The sonar confused them. It took years and years to get the Navy to admit they were the cause.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Still Waters on 30 December, 2016, 12:36
Comment icon #10 Posted by third_eye on 30 December, 2016, 13:02
I have no words ... that is beyond mind boggling with the stupidity ... I hope they get the shipping vessel impounded and sunk to make artificial corals and a fish sanctuary ... ~
Comment icon #11 Posted by Black Monk on 31 December, 2016, 11:32
The sooner Britain leaves the EU and stops it from dumping fish in our waters (the EU has often overfished and then dumped tons of dead ones back into the sea) and sending Spanish and Irish and French trawlers into British fishing waters - the richest fishing waters in Europe - to steal our fish, the better.
Comment icon #12 Posted by ChaosRose on 31 December, 2016, 16:29
Trawling hasn't helped anyone, quotas haven't helped anyone...because it doesn't do any good to throw fish back if they're already dead. The fact is that there aren't rich fishing waters anymore. And it's only gonna get worse. The environment is ******, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The resource wars have begun, and everyone is becoming insular. 

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