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Thousands of dead fish wash up on Cornish beach

Hundreds of thousands of dead fish have washed up on a beach in West Cornwall.

It's the second time in a fortnight that a Cornish beach has been covered in dead fish.

The fish are said to be sardines. Credit: Katrina Slack

They stretch as far as the eye can see.This massive shoal of sardines covers a large part of the beach at Marazion in west Cornwall. There are hundreds of thousands and they're littering picturesque Mount's Bay. Many of them are tangled in the kelp and the seaweed.

The sardines were first spotted at the weekend by beach goers who posted pictures on social media.

This morning they again drew curious onlookers keen to witness this unusual sight. One theory is that they were dumped by a fishing vessel after its nets got overloaded.

"We saw a trawler, in fact two trawlers, one a little bit offshore but one very close in. I've very rarely seen them in that close before so I'm assuming they were fishing for the sardines here and most probably hit a really large school of sardines and probably couldn't actually get them all on board because it was a small trawler."

– LAWRENCE SMITH, Beachgoer
There were still fish on the beach on Monday morning. Credit: Katrina Slack

The strandings are being investigated by Cornwall's inshore fisheries and conservation authority.

"We are aware that there's been some fishing activity in Mounts Bay over the weekend,including by ring netters and it's impossible to say exactly how the fish have ended up there but it's possible that some of the fish may have been slipped from a net.

"I would have said it is unusual except we did hear about it last week in St.Austell Bay and at the time we were unclear then as to what had happened but again we know that there was fishing activity in that bay with similar types of net so if it down to netting then clearly they need to take steps to amend their practices so we don't get wasted fish like that."

– SIMON CADMAN Fisheries and conservation protection officer
The origin of the fish has not yet been confirmed. Credit: Katrina Slack

It's not known how long it'll take to clear the stranded sardines from the privately owned beach. But the seagulls are in no hurry. They're feasting on the fish instead of our ice creams and pasties.

The fish appeared to be fresh when they were discovered. Credit: Katrina Slack