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20,000 Dead Fish Wash Up Along VA Beach

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) A fish processing company is working to clean up an estimated 20,000 menhaden that have washed ashore on Buckroe Beach after a spill from the nets of a commercial trawler.

Texas-based Omega Protein says about 75,000 of the oily fish were spilled from harvesting nets on Monday more than 4 miles off Grandview Island. By Wednesday morning, about 20,000 had made their way to a five-mile stretch of beach near Hampton.

A company spokesman says officials from its Reedville plant are investigating the cause of the spill.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission called the spill an accident and said the dead fish may stink but they pose no health hazard.

Omega uses the fish to create fertilizer, fish oil and high-protein animal feed.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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