Thousands of starfish washed up on Thanet beaches

Photo Lucy Anderton

Thousands of dead starfish have been washed up on to isle beaches, including Ramsgate, Dumpton Gap and Viking Bay.

These photos and video were taken by dog owner Lucy Anderton on Ramsgate beach this morning (March 3). Lucy said there were also crabs and fish washed on to the sands.

The severe cold spell is likely to be the cause as the starfish, which feed on molluscs, gather in great numbers around mussel beds. When strong currents pass through during a storm, the starfish can be lifted up and carried to the shore.

Thanet marine enthusiast Rob Whiteman said: “Starfish are very sensitive to temperature change and also with this cold weather there would be very little food for them.”

In 2011  some 40,000 Devil crabs – also known as Velvet swimming crabs – starfish, lobsters, sponges and anemones, were washed up on isle beaches following severe weather in December 2010.