Why have thousands of dead fish washed up on Cornwall beach?

Why have thousands of dead fish washed up on Cornwall beach?

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on a beach in Cornwall, leaving experts scratching their heads as to why.

Dog walker Edward Bol came across the grim scene at Pentewan Sands on Sunday morning after the fish washed up on Saturday night.

See also: Has the Loch Ness Monster washed up dead on the beach?

See also: Mystery as three dead polar bears wash up on tiny Scottish beach

He believed they were mainly herring with some mackerel and sardines in there too.

The Metro reports that seagulls have been feasting on the fish, leaving the beach also covered in bird poo.

Why have thousands of dead fish washed up on Cornwall beach?

Experts have described the event as unusual but have pointed to windy weather in the area as being a factor.

Speaking to the BBC, James Wright, curator of the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said: "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."

He added: "It is possible they were all caught in particularly bad weather when they were near the surface and washed up by the waves."

Back in July, thousands of jellyfish washed up on Perranporth beach in Cornwall, just says after a sperm whale died at the same spot.

Marine experts said they were being brought in from the Atlantic by onshore wind.

Back in 2014, hundreds of tiny, dead whitebait were found washed up at Mullion Harbour on the Lizard, and the same phenomenon had been reported all along the south coast as far as Dorset.

The Plymouth Herald reports that the fish were likely driven into shore after they were chased by predators – in that case mackerel.

Best beaches in Cornwall
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Best beaches in Cornwall

One of Newquay's famous five beaches, this perfect horseshoe-shaped cove is great for swimmers, surfers and families. Don't miss: the Kitchen beach bar, with its laid-back atmosphere and music events, was recently named as one of Europe's finest in an Orange holiday guide. Who needs St Tropez when you can have Lusty Glaze?

With its white sand and frothy rollers, Gwithain beach is a real gem, and a particularly good spot for sunsets. Stretching for more than three miles right up to Godrevy Point, if you get this far you may be lucky enough to see the seal colony. Look out for pods of dolphins, too. Gourmet tip: Stop for a homemade cake at the Jam Pot, a listed historic building overlooking the whole of St Ives Bay.

By far one of the prettiest, safest and expansive beaches in the area, Mawgan Porth offers fabulous swimming, family surfing and body boarding. Top tip: Book in for a family sufing lesson at Kingsurf – the affable owner, Pete Abell, is an inspiration. Oh, and make sure you have a cream tea at the Merrymore Inn afterwards.

Bedruthan Steps forms part of one of the most spectacular sections of the north Cornwall coast. Huge outcrops of volcanic rock are scattered along the length of the beach – you can walk around them at low tide. Perfect if you: are relatively fit. Access to the beach is via a long and very steep staircase.... Arriving is more fun than leaving.

Although it's only a stonesthrow away from bustling Newquay, Crantock is a different world. This is a secret spot for avoiding the summer crowds: due to its relative remoteness, Crantock offers relative calm during the peak season. Top tip: Take the ferry from Newquay to Crantock Bay and stop at the Fern Pit Café.

Set in a steep valley, Portreath was once a busy port but it's now left largely to holidaymakers, surfers, and the odd fisherman. Perfect for: Scenic walks. The coastal footpath west towards St Ives Bay offers some jolly good scenery of the coastline, dotted by Deadman's Cove and Hell's Mouth – names which bear testament to the tales of shipwrecks and smuggling in the area.

Backed by lovely dunes and cliffs just a couple of miles outside Padstow, Harlyn Bay offers lots to explore and a sweeping cove popular with surfers. Don't miss: The cliffs at Trevose Head, which offer amazing views towards Pentire Head and Newquay beyond.

Often overlooked by holidaymakers, I think secluded Trevone beach is well worth a visit. A perfect mix of sand and rockpools makes it a lovely spot for families. Perfect if you: love crabbing or collecting shells.

Despite being one of the most popular beaches in north Cornwall, Polzeath still somehow manages to maintain a laid-back, typically Cornish character. The influx of families, surfers, bodyboarders, kayakers and sunbathers all mix happily on this glorious beach in unspoilt surroundings. Best for: Everyone. Last time I was here it was pouring with rain... but the kids still absolutely loved running around in their wetsuits on the open sands.

Bude is all about soft sand and space for everybody, with top-notch surfing. The eastern end of Summerleaze beach you'll find a seawater swimming pool, which is re-filled by the tide every day. Top tip: Bag yourself a beach hut at Summerleaze or Crooklets beach, with prices from £62 per week.


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