Warning issued after mysterious debris and dead starfish found on Hunstanton beaches
PUBLISHED: 14:20 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 06 March 2018
Families with children and pets are being urged to take care when visiting Hunstanton beach after a number of unknown ‘solid deposits’ washed up ashore.
West Norfolk council issued a warning on Twitter urging the public not to touch the objects and to wash their hands after visiting the beach.
But they said the objects are of no immediate concern and samples have been taken away for analysis.
“We suggest those with children and animals take extra care to ensure they avoid contact with the objects,” the council added.
There have also been reports of dead starfish along the beaches in Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton carried inland by Storm Emma.
A spokesman from Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary said it is not uncommon to find starfish washed up after a storm and advised dog-owners to keep their pets on a lead when visiting the beach.
Last year, one dog died on the North Norfolk coast after ingesting contaminated sea life and a number of others were left poorly.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) confirmed that the marine life consumed by the dogs was contaminated with Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP).
The spokesman added: “Starfish are not strong swimmers and live in relatively shallow water, once they have become dislodged from rocks they end up being carried by currents and often wash up on the shore.
“The waves are too strong for them to stay anchored to rocks and the sea bed.
“Starfish feed on molluscs, for instance mussels and clams, often congregating in large numbers.
“As a result of the recent high tides and Storm Emma there has been an extended period of rough seas likely causing the mass stranding event we have witnessed this weekend.
“It’s never good to see marine creatures stranding, however with the recent storm and strong tides it was highly likely an event like this would occur.
“If you’re planning on heading down to the beach, we recommend you keep any dogs on a lead to prevent them from ingesting any of the washed up marine creatures to reduce any risk to your pet’s health.”