Ocean Pollution

Thousands of dead crustaceans found in Northern England

Written by Oceanographic Staff

As thousands of dead crustaceans continue to wash up around the Teesside area in the north east of England, scientists are trying to establish the underlying cause of the mass die-off.

For over two weeks, thousands of dead sea creatures have washed up on beaches on the Teesside coast in an unprecedented disaster which locals have called ‘the worst’ they have ever seen. The reasons behind this disastrous incident are still not known.

While dead and alive crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters have steadily piled up on the beaches around Teesside, the Environment Agency confirmed on Monday, 25 October that it has launched an investigation into the occurrence to find out whether a pollution incident might be to blame for the deaths.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We are working with partners at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture and North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority to investigate why hundreds of dead crabs have washed up along the shore in the Tees Estuary and neighbouring beaches.”

“Samples of water, sediment, mussel and crab have been collected and are being sent to our labs for analysis, to consider whether a pollution incident could have contributed to the deaths of the animals. We have also shared samples with CEFAS labs for disease analysis.”

The incident is yet another indicator that the health of the UK’s waterways and coastal environments needs to be taken more seriously.

For more from our Ocean Newsroom, click here.

Photography courtesy of Unsplash and NCJ MEDIA.

Current issue

Back issues

Enjoy so much more from Oceanographic Magazine by becoming a subscriber.
A range of subscription options are available.