A farmer in Northern Ireland might be forgiven for wondering whether the miracle of the loaves and fishes had come to one of his fields yesterday - although the loaves were conspicuous by their absence! The Daily Mail reports:
A farmer was understandably left fed up to the gills by the sight of fish after a staggering 20 tonnes [44,000 pounds] of mackerel spilled onto his land from an overturned lorry.
It was travelling towards Ardglass in County Down, Northern Ireland, last week when it appeared to have caught a grass verge, ploughed through 30 yards of hedge and fallen into a field belonging to Gordon Flinn, 71.
A digger and a crane were called in as 12 men worked for seven hours straight in a ‘large scale’ clean-up operation following the accident.
Mr Flinn, a sheep and cattle farmer, said the fish were piled up to two feet deep in places.
He said: ‘We had a call from the police about 3pm, saying there had been an accident down by my land and that there were fish everywhere.
‘The driver had hit a verge and the fish had come down on the hedge, destroying it and spilling them all into my field.
‘When I got down there I expected to see boxes of fish fingers or something - but there was a 20 tonne silver sea of fish. It was quite a sight.
‘There were thousands of the things all over my land. It was a bit of a shock to say the least.
‘It took them from about 7pm to 2am just to clear it all up. It was about ten metres in diameter - they were all over the place.
‘The one really bizarre thing was though, is that there wasn’t a smell of fish. I think there was more than enough to feed the 5,000. We could have fed the 5,000 five thousand times over.
‘I didn’t take some for dinner - I don’t think I could look another fish in the eyes for a long time.’
There's more at the link, including more (and much larger) pictures.
I understand fishmeal is used as a fertilizer; so in the farmer's shoes, I'd probably have plowed the fish into the field, and looked forward to a record harvest later in the year!