A floating carpet consisting of more than 100,000 dead fish has been discovered in the Atlantic Ocean off France.

Dutch-owned trawler FV Margiris, the world's second-biggest fishing vessel, shed the dead animals after a trawling net ruptured.

Shocking images capture the blanket of silver and white fish covering 3,000sq m of the ocean's surface.

The French arm of campaign group Sea Shepherd first published images of Thursday's spill.

France fisheries minister Annick Girardin has launched an investigation into the incident's circumstances.

Fishing industry group Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association (PFA), which represents the vessel's owner, said the spill is a “very rare occurrence”.

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