Visitors to Pett Level and Winchelsea Beach were shocked to see tens of thousands of tiny fish washed up on the beach over the August bank holiday weekend. Some thought this might be the result of climate change, which has led to record temperatures in the UK this year as well as extreme weather events elsewhere in the world such as “unprecedented” fires within the Arctic circle.
Fortunately, this distressing phenomenon turned out to have a natural explanation. Schools of mackerel have been chasing whitebait, which in an attempt to escape, leap up onto the beach, where of course they die. The mackerel seem to have visited in droves this year, with one fisher reporting he had caught 50 in 15 minutes. Some mackerel were also spotted on the beach, their enthusiasm for their prey having countered their survival instinct.
For those concerned about climate change, Extinction Rebellion Rye is rerunning its oversubscribed public talk “Heading for Extinction” on September 12 at 7pm. Details and free tickets can be found online, or picked up at Grammar School Records on the High Street.
Image Credits: Anna Hollyman .