HUNDREDS of dead Spanish sardines have been discovered washed up on the Gulf shoreline.
A report in Alabamas13.com states that the fish were found littering the beach from the Gulf State Park to the main public beach in Arkansas, US.
Instead of shovelling sand for sandcastles, holidaymakers spent the morning scooping the rotting fish into buckets and putting them in the bin.
‘I recently retired from law enforcement and this is almost as bad as dealing with dead bodies,’ said one visitor to the beach. ‘Just to clean it up, make it better, so kids won’t be scared when they see dead fish everywhere.’
‘It smells ridiculous, it’s definitely an eyesore then you have the birds picking at them trying to eat them and flinging it everywhere,’ he added.
‘They were half-eaten, the head part was gone,’ said another visitor who helped with the clean-up operation. ‘Smelly, disgusting, icky, definitely not someone I’d want to spend a day on the beach with.’
Fish kills such as this are apparently not uncommon. Marine biologists say that they usually happen a couple times each summer when oxygen levels are low and the water is stagnant.
‘Typically this time of year, conditions are of low, dissolved oxygen, a period of neap tide, we’ve had low winds, overcast, which has caused oxygen to be depleted in the water,’ explained Kevin Anson, Alabama Department of Marine Resources.