It is interesting reading the comments in the "locals"regarding starfish on the beach. One commentator blamed dredging, but I am not so sure. Starfish have always died in large numbers as far as I can remember and the population then returns with vengance as any fishermen can confirm. In my fishing days I came remember shooting the nets over a high water and to find the cod caught by the gills in the net still alive and smoothered in starfish. Starfish when on the move smoother the sea bed like a blanket sucking the life out of anything that cannot move out of the way.
On a different subject I can remember when after a storm at minnis bay in the 1970's there was a band of cockles about a meter wide on the high water mark all the way to Reculver. As the tides moved into neaps the vast majority died and were eaten by sea birds. Within 18 months there were just as many cockles on the low water mark as before the storm with one exception they were bigger.