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Coastal, Inshore

Shellfish on Bettystown Beach

Irishmarinelife received a report today of thousands of shellfish  washed up on Bettystown Beach, Meath around the 12th of January. The observer was at a loss to identify the species, a light coloured and relatively large bivalve, smooth and unlike a scallop or oyster species.

After some researching it is probably the Otter Shell that she saw (Lutraria  lutraria) which burrows in sand and mud substrates and is found mostly in  The Irish Sea and also parts of Connemara.

There was a period of sustained easterly gales leading up to the 12th which  led to the extraordinary disturbance of its habitat and its displacement  onto the shore. We did not receive any photos of the event; if you have  any, please send them to


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One thought on “Shellfish on Bettystown Beach

  1. I had been at Bettystown beach on Sat Jan 16th and observed exactley what your observer is describing: thousands of a large species of shellfish, oval like mussels but lighter in colour, were washed up on the shore. I walked there shortly after the tide started retreating. The amount of these shellfish was shoking and horrifying as they were all in the process of dying, openeing up and having there closing mussles hanging out like a tongue. I am normally not walking that beach (I live in Skerries) and have not met anyone so far who was witness of this scene as well. Alas I did not carry a camera with me. Very much interested in learning how it came to this enormous dying of shellfish.

    Posted by Gisela Lapot | February 11, 2010, 9:08 pm

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