Crab deaths inquiry latest as now dead star fish are reported on Hartlepool beach

An update has been provided following the launch of an inquiry into the mystery death of “hundreds” of dead crabs.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 3:36 pm

Following the reports earlier this month, the Environment Agency and CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture) and NEIFCA (North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority) started an investigation the remains of crabs were discovered on Seaton Carew beach.

It has now said that samples of water, sediment, mussel and crab have been collected and sent for disease analysis as the investigation continues.

The investigation comes after a high number of dead razorbills and guillemots were spotted on the beach of Seaton Carew at the end of September.

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Carl Clyne spotted a large number of dead crabs while walking his dog in Seaton Carew. /Photo: Carl Clyne

Seaton ward councillor Sue Little said she has received reports in recent days of other sea creatures, including star fish, being washed up on the beach and has been in touch with the Environment Agency about this latest matter.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We are working with partners at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture and North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority to investigate why hundreds of dead crabs have washed up along the shore in the Tees Estuary and neighbouring beaches.

“Samples of water, sediment, mussel and crab have been collected and are being sent to our labs for analysis, to consider whether a pollution incident could have contributed to the deaths of the animals. We have also shared samples with CEFAS labs for disease analysis.

“If you are aware of pollution affecting wildlife, please report it to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.”

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