Following on from the news that we brought on the 12th of January about how Saltburn Beach had lost it’s blue flag award, it has been identified by locals that hundreds of mussels, crabs and starfish had been found dead on the beach.
At this moment in time it can’t be confirmed what the cause of this is, however it is suggested from the environment agency that due to recent weather conditions and strong winds has caused them to be washed up onto Saltburn beach.
In an interview, Stuart Marshall a local beach hut owner, said:
“It’s devastating. There’s starfish dead, clams, oysters and crabs.”Stuart Marshall, Beach Hut Owner
Whilst Helen Whitworth a local resident from Northallerton said:
“There’s all sorts of debris here. I’ve come down for a lovely walk with the dog and it’s such a shame to see all of this today.”Helen Whitworth, Local Resident
It has been reported there has been a number of sightings of large deposits of black debris – which has been suggested that this coal has been washed up on the beach previously.
However the environment agency has said it is a natural event and is typical of this time of year:
We can confirm the black substance washed up on the beach is coal deposit, which is not unusual for this stretch of coastline. This is likely to be in the intertidal system for a while given recent weather conditions, so may continue to happen in the coming weeks and months.
Creatures like starfish, razor clams and mussels occupy similar rocky habitat and are easily dislodged during storm events. And the physiology of juvenile flounder makes them vulnerable to being stranded on shallow gradient beaches such as Saltburn.
While we know people are concerned, the combination of recent heavy swell, spring tides and onshore winds means natural wash-ups will occur more often.Spokesperson from the Environment Agency