‘Beast from the East’ causes marine life die-off

Tuesday 13th March 2018

Neil Aldridge Neil Aldridge

A dramatic drop in sea temperature caused a mass die-off in marine life around the country, including on the Essex coast.

Last week saw a huge abundance of marine wildlife wash-up on beaches throughout the UK, including on the Essex coastline. These were victims of the “Beast from the East”, demonstrating that the Siberian weather affected our seas just as much as it did our land.

There was a drop in sea temperature by up to 3C, a dramatic and sudden change that resulted in this natural disaster. The change will have caused marine wildlife to become far less active and therefore more susceptible to the rough seas created by Storm Emma that followed. In Essex, there was evidence of it at several sites on the Tendring coastline, including at Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton beach.

While it is incredibly sad to see this occur, natural disasters as a result of the cold are unpreventable. Something that can be done is to mitigate against declining marine life by ensuring there are enough protected areas at sea, so that our marine life will be able to bounce back from natural disasters like this. 

The melting snow has also revealed the tragedy of plastic pollution that plagues our oceans. Essex Wildlife Trust will be holding a number of beach cleans at varying locations throughout the year to raise awareness and help combat this issue. Please keep an eye out on our What's On page and social media channels for future dates.