Huge numbers of small fish wash up on Benar beach in Barmouth, Wales

Fish Kill Alert

Dolphin-watchers are expected to be in luck after millions of sprat – their favourite food – washed up on a beach near Barmouth.

Huge numbers of the members of the sardine family were spotted on Benar Beach in Gwynedd on Saturday.

As well as dolphins, seals, mackerel and bass are all expected to be lured to feed on the bounty.

Local fisherman say the beaching of so many sprat happens in the area about once a year.

“When the tide comes in there are pockets in the sand and the sprats get stranded in them. It’s not a massively rare thing,” Robert Redman, of Welsh Wild Waters, said.

“What happens is the mackerel push the sprat far into the coast – they feed on the sprat. Once they get so far in and the tide comes in, the sprat get stranded.

“That beach will be very popular today because of the amount of mackerel and bass that will come after them.”

Fisherman Aeron Griffith spotted millions of the small fish on the beach, on Saturday.

“I was going there to get some bait, but ended up taking a few of them,” he said.

“They attract predatory fish – bass, mackerel and sometimes dolphins and porpoises.

“Most of the sprat would have died as the large numbers took the oxygen out of the water and they were stranded.”

He said he returned to the area earlier and “caught a few nice bass and mackerel”.

“You could see where the sprat shells are, the seagulls diving in and lots of fish splashing about,” he said.

Courtesy of BBC News

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