Hundreds of starfish have been washed up at Palm Bay.
Resident Robert Kemp came across the sad sight when he was out walking today (May 13).
He said: “ I was on Palm Bay beach today when I saw lots of starfish that had been washed up, I’m talking in the hundreds/, possibly thousands.”
Starfish strandings are a natural occurrence that happen every year to some degree. The Natural History Museum says large strandings often occur after stormy weather when water currents become stronger and wash the starfish to the shore. Starfish live on the soft, sandy parts of the ocean floor and are easily picked up by currents and waves.
Heavy storms can cause even deep water to move and affect offshore starfish populations. Changing tides, high winds and sea swell can also be factors.
Similar incidents happened across the isle in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2018 when thousands of Devil crabs – also known as Velvet swimming crabs – starfish, lobsters, sponges and anemones, were washed up on beaches following severe weather. A large starfish stranding was also reported in Botany Bay last month.
Did you know…
Starfish suck the life out of the seabed by smothering shell fish like mussels and clams. They even smother fish trapped in nets and leave marks on them.