Has it all happened before ? that is the question I have been asked regarding the recent death of the Velvet Swimmer Crabs. Well the answer is yes, the only difference has been the numbers and considering that December has been the coldest winter in god knows how many years it is hardly surprising to have such a high casualty list.
In the past events like this would have gone unrecorded and I can list many, like when hundreds of thousands of cockles were washed up onto the shingle at Minnis Bay, then the year when we had a kelp weed explosion and Margate Harbour became full of the stuff and it all rotted beating any smell we experience today. One year (1981) there were masses of seed mussels around the coast with the rocks covered in them, the rocks at Foreness Point one year were also covered in millions of winkles it was impossible to see the chalk rock, then there a time when starfish appeared everywhere on the chalk reef only to suddenly die off, tons of pipe weed one year washed ashore resulting in some people coming into contact with it getting a rash, then there was 1976 the hottest summer ever and the sudden drop in temperature killing off many species we have never seen on the coast before like the rays bream for example. The list is endless , unfortunately in the past it has never been recorded.
Today things are so much different as the then underrated Thanet chalk reef is now taken seriously. The Thanet District Council sponsored Thanet Coast Project with its volunteer wardens now monitor the coastline recording data and raising awareness of what has been in the past a underrated asset.
Finally, we have the Internet that can give up to date reports on the Thanet Coast to any where in the world and from my stats recently I can confirm that there is definitely a interest.