Starfish ‘Armageddon’: Effect Of Extreme Changes In Temperature

Thousands of dead starfish and other marine animals were seen a week after the Beast from the East and Storm Emma brought ice and snow to Britain.

The phenomenon was seen over Yorkshire up to Ramsgate, Kent. Lara Maiklem, a wildlife enthusiast, described the incident of starfish and other creatures being washed ashore, as “armageddon”. Maiklem estimated “hundreds of thousands” of starfish and other sea life were washed ashore this weekend following the spell of the ‘beast from the east’ as the temperature dropped extremely. As the sea temperature dropped down, sea animals hunker down and reduced their activity level, causing these creatures to be washed ashore.

Aside from the starfish, dead creatures like lobster, crabs, sea urchin, and even birds such as seagulls were also seen among the mass of dead wildlife. Most of the animals on the coast are dead, except for lobsters which Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have been working with local fishermen to rescue. The lobsters that survived were gathered in buckets and were taken to tanks in Bridlington for care, before being put back into the sea as the weather improves.

North Sea marine advocacy officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Ben Lynam, are now working alongside with the fishermen to promote sustainable fisheries and protect reproductive stocks.

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