OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)—A very smelly problem. Tons of dead fish are washing up in Ocean City.
Officials say dead menhaden stretched the entire length of Ocean City at one point; some even reached Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Captain Kent Bucksom, Rehoboth Beach Patrol, says he was notified of the wash-up Saturday afternoon.
“Around 2-2:30 p.m. I got a call in my headquarters from a couple guards saying a couple of fish had washed up, and the shoreline was saturated with thousands of them,” Bucksom said.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday, Rehoboth Beach Public Works put crews on the beach along with the beach sweeping tractor to recover the remains.
Many of the fish had their heads cut off, posing a health risk.
Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, DNREC spokesman, says menhaden are caught in great numbers and are often processed onboard ships. The level of decomposition suggests that the fish had been dead for several days and could have originated miles from the beaches where they eventually landed.
If the fish were caught off the coast, Rhodes says officials are uncertain why or how the catch ended up in the ocean.
Some experts are speculating they were dumped by a commercial boat.