A large number of starfish were found washed up on the shores of Redcar and East Cleveland.

Numerous beach goers and dog walkers reported seeing ‘hundreds’ of starfish washed up on Redcar, Marske and Saltburn’s beaches over the weekend – the latest incident in an ongoing controversy.

Since a mass crustacean die off in October 2021, in which dead crabs, lobsters, razor clams and other shellfish were found along the coast, the spotlight has been fixed on various Teesside MPs and has sparked government probe on why such incidents are occurring.

Back in March, high tides were blamed for ‘thousands’ of razor clam shells decorating the sand, with reports of more washed up starfish says later.

In response, The Environment Agency said such occurrences are a natural event that does often happen during high tides and “may continue to happen in the coming weeks and months”.

One concerned resident spoke to Teesside Live and said: “We as a country do our best to protect every sort of wildlife, but please can more pressure be brought to bear into getting some answers from those that should know so we can stop these distressing deaths of harmless sea creatures.”

Another said: “[I’ve] just walked from Redcar to Saltburn. If you call this natural there’s really something wrong. What is going on? Hundreds of starfish looking for a way out, huddled in the last piece of water.”

An initial Defra report blamed the most likely cause on a naturally occurring algal bloom but further investigation, published earlier this year, ruled a ‘novel pathogen’ was the most likely cause. Independent marine and university experts as well as the fishermen believed dredging on the Tees unearthed historical toxins leading to the mass die off.

Original article: Miriam Goodman/Teesside Live | ‘Hundreds of starfish’ wash up on Teesside beaches over weekend

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