Dead Whale Found On Digby County Shoreline, Environmental Tests Continue On Fish Kill

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2016 16:34 PM

A dead whale has washed up on a beach in Whale Cove, Digby County.

It comes at a time when thousands of dead herring and other species of fish have been found along shorelines in the area.

Dr. Kent Smedbol, Manager of the Population Ecology Division with DFO Maritimes Region says it's too early to tell if the juvenile humpback's death is related to the herring die-off.

Smedbol says the animal has likely been dead for some time.

"The animal is flattened from back to stomach. This is usually indicative of a fairly advanced state of decay of the interior organs."

Meanwhile, water sampling is being conducted in St. Mary's Bay by a team of DFO scientists.

Smedbol says they need to look at the environmental conditions in the area where the fish are dying.

'We're hoping this work will then inform us how we might proceed from an environmental sampling perspective. For instance, if you were to look at the bottom of the bay, and if everything looked fine and normal, that would tend to indicate the cause of the fish kill was not an environmental factor."

Results should be available in a few days.

Disease and other testing on the fish has come back negative so far.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also warning the public not to consume the dead fish.

In a series of tweets today, DFO says herring and other fish found on beaches they patrolled yesterday had been dead for at least four or five days.