Mass marine death along North Sea coast

Matt Blissett

Following reports in the news about the stranding of thousands of marine animals on the Yorkshire coast, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is sad to confirm that there has also been large scale strandings at Gibraltar Point and Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserves

Tens of thousands of animals washed up on the beaches following the cold temperatures and rough weather over the last week. Most of the animals are now dead and, in Lincolnshire, include large numbers of razor clams, starfish and sunstars as well as crabs and fish such as a thornback ray photographed at Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve.

There was a three degree drop in sea temperature last week which will have caused animals to hunker down and reduce their activity levels. This makes them vulnerable to rough seas – they became dislodged by large waves and washed ashore when the rough weather kicked in.
Bex Lynam
North Sea Marine Advocacy Officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
We can’t prevent natural disasters like this – but we can mitigate against declining marine life and the problems that humans cause by creating enough protected areas at sea and by ensuring that these sites are large enough and close enough to offer fish, crustaceans, dolphins and other marine life the protection they require to withstand natural events such as this.
Dr Lissa Batey
Senior Living Seas Officer at The Wildlife Trusts

More information

For more information on how the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, together with other Trusts, are campaigning for better protection of our seas, visit our Living Seas campaign page or visit the Wildlife Trusts UK-wide Ocean Giants campaign web page.