Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 18-08-2014

Dead fish 'natural phenomenon'

by Joanne Clague

Dead fish 'natural phenomenon'

Fisheries experts say that dead fish washed up on a long stretch of the northern coastline were not killed by pollution (watch our report on MTTV).

Instead, it's a sign that fish stocks are flourishing.

The island's director of fisheries, Karen McHarg visited the scene on Saturday and spoke to a member of the public who had reported the incident.

She told us: 'It’s very important to emphasise that this hasn’t happened as a result of pollution and that people have nothing to worry about. It appears that a large shoal of juvenile herring has been driven onto the beach by a shoal of feeding mackerel. Bass do the same thing with herring sprats.

'This does happen occasionally at this time of year and has been reported in other places around the Island in previous years, for example in Peel.'

There appeared to be millions of dead fish on the beach between Ramsey and the Point of Ayre. However, the experts say this would have been only a small proportion of a huge shoal.

Ms McHarg said: 'This is a completely natural phenomenon and there are no implications for other marine life or fishermen, in fact it is a good sign of flourishing stocks of herring – only a small proportion of what was obviously a huge shoal will have been stranded.'

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