The freezing seas and high tides caused by the Beast from the East and Storm Emma killed hundreds of species, including starfish, crabs, lobsters, fish, whelks and even seals, before washing their bodies onto the sands.
Although beach-combers and fishermen headed down to areas such as Fraisthorpe to rescue live lobsters, it was initially unclear whether there would be a major clean-up operation before decomposition begins.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council have now revealed that the responsibility will pass to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, who have organised a beach clean and appealed for volunteers to help them.
An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “We understand that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is organising a litter pick of the beaches on Friday. Their advice to us is to let nature take its course and let the sea take back its own.”
Members of the public wishing to help should meet the charity’s staff at midday on Friday in the Fraisthorpe Beach car park. The beach clean will head south from Fraisthorpe towards Barmston.
Litter picking equipment will be provided but volunteers are asked to wear strong gloves.
The charity and trawler crews have helped to rescue tonnes of lobsters, who will be released back into the wild once sea temperatures rise. They will be cared for in special tanks at Bridlington Harbour.
The mass stranding was due to a ‘once-in-a-decade’ weather event. Small sea creatures become less active when water temperatures plunge, and as a result are easily dislodged by strong tides and beached. Larger mammals such as dolphins are able to swim away from shore.