Making sure the fish did not get away, local fishermen entered the water with their large nets and brought onto the sand an estimated 4,000 of the fish, identified as torpedo scad, also known as the hardtail scad, finny scad, finletted mackerel scad or cordyla scad, a species of in the mackerel family.
The entrepreneurial fishermen started selling the fish at bargain prices right on the sand, with local residents with an eye for a bargain snapping the prime fresh fish for as little as B100 for three.
Phuket Fisheries Chief Kowit Kao-ian explained that the huge school of fish was a ‘freak event’, but completely natural.
“This was not, as rumours on social media claimed, a sign of some impending natural disaster,” he said.
Local fisherman Ponchai Faingam told The Phuket News, “The hardtail fish is found around the shoreline every year from November to January, but this year there are more than usual at Nai Han, Kata, Karon and Freedom beaches.
“Normally each fish weighs about 600-700 grams and usually sells at markets for B70-80 per kilogram. But this time, it is cheaper. Some fishermen are even giving some away for free,” he laughed.