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Fisherman astonished at seagull feeding frenzy as heat-cooked fish float

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Fishermen have been left speechless after thousands of fish died in a canal – causing a savage feeding frenzy amongst praying birds.

Experts have put the mysterious death of the fish down to climate change after the UK experienced the hottest June on record.

Mark Owen, head of fisheries at the Angling Trust said the scorching temperatures killed thousands of fish.

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He witnessed hundreds of gulls fighting over the carcases on the canal near Birmingham.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “Where I was this morning on a canal near Birmingham, fish were caught up against a lock and you saw hundreds of seagulls picking up the dead fish, the stench was really quite amazing.”

Dr Andy Bray, of the Calder Rivers Trust, added: “We've got rivers that don't have any shade, that are straight and that are impounded so there is very little flow.

“It's just kind of a backlog for them to just be heated up in. This is a problem that's going to be happening year on year as we go forward.”

John Ellis, of the Canal and River Trust, also reported the death of more than 60 fish over 21 canals across the UK.

He explained that a typical year only sees around half a dozen fatalities.

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Ellis told the BBC this was partly due to high water temperatures and thunderstorms reducing oxygen in the water.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for The Met Office said the average temperature across the UK last month was 15.8C.

That is 0.9C hotter than the previous record of 14.9C – which was recorded in both 1940 and 1976.

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But the UK isn’t the only place being struck by record-breaking temperatures, a staggering 72 other countries also reported their hottest June on record.

Paul Davies, Met Office chief meteorologist, said: 'Background warming of the Earth's atmosphere due to human-induced climate change has driven up the possibility of reaching record high temperatures.'

By the 2050s, record June heat may be expected 'every other year', he warned.

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