What to do if you see a dead animal washed up on the beach after dead sea creatures spotted on Sunderland shores

Multiple carcasses have washed up on Sunderland’s beaches in recent days.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2021, 5:59 pm
Seaham coastline this morning.

Dead starfish and sea animals have washed up on the coast along Seaham, raising alarm in residents, who reported the sightings on social media.

Laura Shemmings went to Seaham beach with her boyfriend last night to collect some rocks. She said the beach was “full of dead sea creatures”.

"We saw mostly starfish, but also squid and dead fish.

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Starfish and squid washed up on the coast along Seaham./Photo: Laura Shemmings

"We were just shocked at how many there was! We felt very sad about it,” Laura said.

It comes as the region has been hit by snow and freezing temperatures, with stormy seas battering the coastline earlier this week. A yellow weather warning for snow and ice remains in place until Saturday, 13 February.

The BDMLR have explained the casualties could potentially be related to the severe weather conditions of the past few days. Storms, rough seas and cold temperatures can make it hard for some sea creatures to survive, with seal pups particularly affected.

A spell of bad weather in January led to an increase in reports of dead seals washing up on our shores.

Laura said she spotted mostly starfish./Photo: Laura Shemmings

The advice is not to touch any dead animals on the beach and to wash hands carefully if there is any contact as dead marine animals, like any other animal, can carry disease or infection.

The sighting of the carcass of large animals should be reported firstly to the local council.

Healthy seals do spend a large amount of their time on land to get rest. Injuries and sickness can also cause them to come ashore.

The BDMLR advises to give the animals plenty of space and not to chase them back into the water.

Multiple dead sea animals have washed up on the Seaham coast.

Contact BDMLR on 01825 765546 if you are concerned for the well-being of a live seal, dolphin or a whale.

If you come across a deceased animal on the beach, keep away from it and contact the area’s council who may arrange for it to be removed.

The casualties could have been caused by the severe weather./Photo: Laura Shemmings
Dead sea animals washed up on Seaham beach last night./Photo: Laura Shemmings