Tens of thousands of dead fish washed up on Virginia’s Eastern Shore after a net owned by a commercial fishing company tore.

Omega Protein, a large commercial fishing operation out of Houston that specializes in harvesting menhaden, said the incident happened Oct. 7 when one of its nets aboard a boat snagged as a crew was pumping in a load of several thousand of the fish.

By the weekend, the company said the fish started to wash up on an area known as Smith Beach. The area is near the Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve in Northampton County.

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