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Dead starfish at Budleigh Salterton March 2010 | by Pond Skater
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Dead starfish at Budleigh Salterton March 2010

This is a small section of the hundreds of thousands of common starfish (Asterius rubens) washed up on the beach at Budleigh Salterton on the 17th March 2010.

Spokesmen on various media sites have said it is either due to them;

 

migrating as a result of the mussel beds on which they feed being collected by mussel fishermen – mussel season ends in March/April – and tides were very high and low due to new moon on the 15th so they might have been caught by the excessive tidal range,

 

or, they became fatigued by spawning and hence washed up. Spawning normally occurs in April/May so a little early but it has recently warmed up after a cold winter so that could have been a trigger.

Pollution has been ruled out.

Info on spawning and feeding obtained from the link below.

 

Talking to one of the local dog-walkers this happened previously about 6 years ago.

 

www.thefreelibrary.com/The+seasonal+movement+and+abundanc...

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Taken on March 17, 2010