Hundreds of fish have been washed up a beach.

Visitors to West Bay were taken aback to see hundreds of small fish leaping up against the harbour wall in an attempt to escape a shoal of hungry mackerel.

The natural phenomenon happens at about the same time every year when whitebait is chased into shallow water and onto the shore by predatory mackerel – and many fishermen visit the area aiming to catch them while they can.

The mackerel force the whitebait towards the beach because it makes it easier to catch.

Daniel Highfield filmed the fish frenzy while at West Bay Day, while further down the coast Alexandra Wood spotted a long line of doomed fish that didn’t survive.

Marine conservation officer Emma Rance said: “This is a natural and common phenomenon where shoals of mackerel chase the whitebait, such as sprat and herring, inshore to predate on them. They then get stranded on the beach, and unless the tide takes them back into the sea, they will remain there.”

Often dolphins follow the mackerel ashore - so it means good news for dolphin sightings in the area.

VIDEO: Daniel Highfield