I had difficulty this evening in deciding what to comment on from local Thanet news that was reported whilst 'Strife' was down. Unlike Ms Wenham-Jones, I am delighted that the closed Woolies premises in Broadstairs might be opened again as an Iceland outlet; its good for the High Street and will offer much needed jobs. Was I the only one to be annoyed by the the pompous tone in her article in the Gazunder last week?
Time to get on topic! The picture above is courtesy of Martin Thain and KM Extra. It shows just a few hundred of the thousands of Velvet Swimming Crabs washed up on Thanet beaches after the recent cold spell. Macropipus puber is a shallow water crab that has a poor tolerance of low temperatures and does not survive for long out of water, despite being an aggressive 'wee beastie' as those who have been nipped by it will remember.
A drop in coastal water temperature during the cold spell probably induced a simple state of 'crustacean hypothermia' and in a semi-comatose state, these crabs were unable to hang on securely when rough water dislodged them from their nooks and crannies in underwater chalk/rock outcrops. The result sadly seems to have been a mass beaching in cold air and death would have come on quickly. I suspect the Environmental Agency will find no pollution cause or odd virus for this phenomenon.
What should be of more concern to us is the situation in Pegwell Bay where we have seen a wipe out of mussel beds and a decline in both the size and vigour of the lugworm population. There is clear evidence of pollution in this very sensitive site that has a number of extraordinary outlets depositing possibly contaminated water into the bay. The Environment Agency need to monitor this situation more closely perhaps with TDC and KCC?