Thousands of fish wash up on Holly Beach, torn fishing net to bl - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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Thousands of fish wash up on Holly Beach, torn fishing net to blame

(Source: KPLC viewer) (Source: KPLC viewer)
CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Thousands of dead fish that washed up on Holly Beach were the result of a torn net on a commercial fishing vessel.

The fishing vessel, the Terrebonne Bay, is operated by the Omega Protein Corporation. It was being used to fish for menhaden, which is often processed into fish oil and other dietary supplements.

Ben Landry, director of public affairs with Omega Protein Corporation, estimated that 100,000 fish were lost when the net ripped Tuesday evening. He said the company deployed planes to spot where the fish would come ashore. The fish began to wash on shore on Wednesday.

It didn't take residents long to notice the smell or to begin speculating on the cause.

"The fish probably got on the beach from bacteria. I've never seen this many fish dead before, it's disgusting," said resident Kayla Foreman.

"The fish smell is pretty bad and my neighborhood don't like it.  And it stinks a lot," she said.

By mid afternoon fish had been raked into small piles along the edge of the water.

"The piles of fish really affect he neighborhood because they really stink a lot and people don't want to be outside as much and it's a really beautiful day," said resident Tallen Bertrand.

The accident happened about 2.3 miles offshore, resulting in fish washing up on a two-mile stretch of beach. The accident is expected to be cleaned up today.

"We take full responsibility for this unfortunate instance and cleanup crews were sent to the beach Wednesday and they returned today to remove the fish," Landry said. "They will remain on the beach as long as fish can be removed. We expect that the fish removal from the area where there is a concentration of houses/camps to be cleared by mid-afternoon today. The other fish that are scattered further west will also be cleaned up as best we can."

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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