Leo Olivero

- as thousands of fish wash up on the beach

In what was one of the weirdest things seen for a long time on a local beach. Yesterday morning on eastern beach hundreds if not thousands of fish were washed ashore.

The many countless tiny dead fish were seen along the beach shore. The scenes didn’t take long to draw the many imaginative theories, not only from beachcombers but also from fishing enthusiast.

Strangely enough it did not draw much attention from the crowds of seagulls who were seen doing a lot of aerial circling, but not much in the way of diving in and for a free lunch or breakfast and appeared not to be interested in the huge feast laid out on the sands.

Some residents including young children rushed to see the bizarre scene while some tried to scoop the fish up in their arms, although very few were brave or thought it safe enough to take any of the fish home for a snack.

The majority of the fish appeared to belong to the common local fish species of borgas and small mackerels.

According to reports and a mixed range of views and a few conspiracy theorists. Some people believed the phenomenon was caused by ‘toxic algae, or low oxygen in the water.

Others believed the fish could have come from nets, as the fish it was thought, are not edible by the time they put them back in the water because they die.

There were more opinions. One fishing buff thought that this, saying this ‘tends to happen when there’s a large shoal of fish, predatory fish, dolphins or whales will corner them near the surface of the water to then consume the shoal of fish, in this instance maybe these fish out of panic ended up beaching themselves’.

Another person said this was ‘happening world-wide with fishes birds bees etc .. something out of anyone’s control it’s happening... it’s sad and scary but I don’t think this is about finger pointing... its universal’

Additional to the scene at eastern beach Panorama was also informed that early morning swimmers in the area saw swarms of dead fish floating on the surface of the water close to the shore.

A swift beach cleaning effort was quickly underway by mid-morning to remove all the dead fish from the sea shore.

There was no news at time of preparing this report that any other local beach had been affected by a similar fishy occurrence?

Local and well-known fishing enthusiast and someone who regularly comments on fishing related issues in BGTW Kaelan Joyce told Panorama:

“I was shocked to see the amount of fish that had been found dead on our shorelines.  There could be a number of reasons for this though, one being bluefin tuna aggressively chasing these fish and forcing them to beach themselves.  The more realistic scenario though is that they are bycatch from Spanish commercial fishing boats that have been coming on a daily basis during recent months (up to 8 at a time).  Nets catch everything in their path and don’t differentiate from commercially viable species and non-commercially viable species such as ‘bogas’.  From the videos and photos, I have seen most of the fish found dead were ‘bogas’, which have very little commercial value (if any) and would therefore have been discarded by commercial fishing vessels if caught in bulk.