Thousands of dead shells washed up on the North Yorkshire coast | UK News
Thousands of dead and dying seashells have washed up on a beach in North Yorkshire.
Visitors to Saltburn-by-the-Sea have encountered hundreds of thousands of dead mussels on the shore, as well as starfish – some barely moving – crabs and razor clams.
Stuart Marshall, 58, owner of the colorful beach huts on the boardwalk, kicked off a cleanup on the sand.
“It’s devastating,” he told the PA news agency. “There are dead starfish, clams, oysters and crabs.”
He said a large deposit of black debris on the beach – which some said was sea coal – had just arrived at low tide and was not normally present.
But Mr Marshall said she did not believe the particles were coal, adding: ‘We get bits of coal from time to time, but nothing like that.
He also questioned the possible explanation that rough seas had killed the creatures, saying the waters had been calm lately.
Free port concerns as dead marine life washes up on Teesside beaches
The Environment Agency said its experts had concluded the washing was “a natural occurrence” and “normal for this time of year”.
“We can confirm that the substantia nigra washed up on the beach is a coal deposit, which is not unusual for this part of the coastline. This is likely to be in the intertidal system for some time given the weather conditions. recent, so it could continue to happen in the next few weeks and months,” a spokesperson said.
“Creatures like starfish, razor clams and mussels occupy a similar rocky habitat and are easily dislodged during storms. And the physiology of juvenile plaice makes them vulnerable to stranding on low-gradient beaches such as Saltburn .
“While we know people are worried, the combination of the recent heavy swell, spring tides and onshore winds means that natural strandings will occur more often.”
The same part of the coast has already seen mass shellfish mortality
A previous mass shellfish kill occurred on the same stretch of the northeast coast in late 2021.
This sparked a series of investigations, which have proven controversial to this day.
In January, an independent panel of experts convened by the scientific director of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Gideon Henderson, concluded: “A new pathogen is considered to be the most likely cause of mortality”.
However, the panel was “unable to identify a clear and compelling single cause for the unusual crustacean mortality”.
Some activists have raised concerns that the dredging of a new freeport on the tees was linked to mortalitybut Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen strongly disputed those claims.