Hundreds of Fish Found Beached on Nauset Spit

MenhadenORLEANS – Beachgoers at Nauset Spit came across hundreds of live and dead fish washed up on the shore Tuesday morning.

Officials with the New England Aquarium say it’s likely the Atlantic menhaden, a type of herring, were trying to escape from their predators, either blue fish and striped bass, and washed up as a last resort. The fish then try to catch a lapping wave back into the water.

Biologists say large-scale wash-ups of that nature are not necessarily uncommon, but they’re not generally seen by people.

Aquarium officials say there have been large schools of the species off the Cape this season.

Menhaden are filter feeding fish, eating animal plankton and plant and are considered a foundation species, serving as food for blues, stripers, tuna, whales, seals, seabirds, and sharks.

For a video of the mass stranding, see the video below:

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