'Hundreds' of dead crabs wash up on Hartlepool beach - Environment Agency launches investigation

Environment Agency chiefs have launched an investigation after a high number of dead crabs were found on the Hartlepool coastline.

By Pamela Bilalova
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 5:11 pm

Hartlepool residents have been reporting seeing a large number of dead crabs washed up on the beach at Seaton Carew in recent days as an investigation gets underway to establish what caused the deaths.

Local resident Carl Clyne has said he spotted “well over a hundred” dead crabs while walking his dog at the beach in Seaton Carew around midday on Wednesday, October 6.

Carl, 42, said: “I went down on the beach between Staincliffe and Hornsey’s.

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

"As soon as we went down, I could see in the rock pools at the high tide mark that there ware a lot of bigger crabs, which you wouldn’t normally see.

"I thought that was a bit strange and as I got further down the beach towards the low water line you could just see crabs everywhere.

"We didn’t walk very far, but we must’ve seen well over a hundred.

"There were dead crabs in every rock pool and quite a lot of them along the water line among the sea weed.

The crabs have been spotted at the beach near the Staincliffe Hotel in Seaton Carew.

"I walk down there quite a lot, I’ve never seen that before.”

The Environment agency said it is working with the CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture) and NEIFCA (North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority) to investigate the cause of the deaths.

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It comes just weeks after a high number of dead razorbills and guillemots were spotted on the beach of Seaton Carew.

Seaton ward councillor Sue Little said she has been in touch with the fish health inspector, who she said will have samples collected to investigate the reason for the deaths.

Cllr Little said: “I would not recommend any swimming until we know what’s happened to all these crabs.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency is working with its partners at CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture) and NEIFCA (North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority), to investigate the cause of a number of reported crab deaths from within the Tees Estuary and neighbouring beaches.

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

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