A huge number of fish have washed up dead on a Welsh beach. An image captured at the scene by a local fisherman shows the thousands and thousands of small fish on Benar Beach, near Barmouth in Gwynedd.
The issue was reported to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on Saturday.
The fish are believed to be sprats, which belong to the clupeidae family of ray-finned fishes.
Despite the alarming picture of the huge number of them on the sand and even more in shallow water, NRW said it was simply a result of “nature at work”, and that the fish ended up on the shore because they were trying to escape larger species that also live in the water.
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“Our officers received a report on Saturday of a number of fish that have washed up on Benar beach, near Barmouth in North Wales,” a spokeswoman for NRW said.
“The calm seas this week mean that larger predators, such as seals or mackerel, can often end up chasing smaller fish all the way onto the sand.
“The fish in these bait balls then ground themselves on beaches in an effort to escape.
“Although it may appear worrying it is only nature at work.
“Thank you to everyone who got in touch to report this. Remember you can report incidents to us on our incident hotline – 0300 065 3000.”
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NRW added that it would not normally be tasked with a clean-up operation following an incident of this kind, as it was not caused by pollution or any similar factor.
It’s also thought to be more beneficial for the nutrients in the sprats to be recycled back into the sea, and that high tide would result in most of the fish being washed back into the water.