THOUSANDS of fish washing up on a Dorset beach has been put down to a 'natural event' by the Environment Agency.

As reported, 'thousands' of small bait fish were spotted washed-up along the shoreline at Chesil Beach last Thursday, October 14.

Further reports from Dorset residents suggested that they had seen fish washed up further down the coast at West Bay and another saw ‘thousands’ in the shallow water on the beach side of the Weymouth Pavilion

The Environment Agency conducted an investigation into the incident and said it was likely a natural event caused by larger marine life.

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A spokesperson said: “On Thursday October 14 we received reports of dead fish on Chesil beach.

“Environment officers evaluated the incident, including checking for reports of pollution, and concluded that this was a natural event likely to be a larger species of fish chasing smaller fish that in turn end up on the beach.


“No further action was taken. Generally speaking marine fish are not the remit of EA unless they have a freshwater life cycle stage.”

The scenes ‘shocked’ paddleboarder Will Salter who captured further video footage of all the fish at Chesil Beach.

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Sarah Hodgson, coastal centres assistant at the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and marine expert Steve Trewhella both agreed the fish were bait fish.

Bait fish are small fish which are used to attract larger marine life, hence the name.

Mr Trewhella previously told the Echo that ‘it is quite common this time of year for bait fish to get chased into the shallows by larger fish such as mackerel and bass’.

This was judged to be the reason why thousands of fish were found washed up on Dorset beaches, with the occasion not being a one off.

Further down the coast in Eastbourne, last month, similar scenes were spotted on a beach, which the Environment Agency also put down to ‘mackerel herding whitebait for food’.