Photo the Telegram
Yet another death of marine life mystery for the East Coast of Canada as lobsters, connors, starfish and crab are washing up dead along the beaches of Norris Point, NL, Canada.
DECKERS COVE, N.L. - Josephine Chubbs was shocked to see a large number of sea creatures wash up on the beach near her Norris Point home. Chubbs lives in an area known as Deckers Cove. “Our backyard is right on the ocean,” she said by phone Monday.
She estimates there were 100 lobsters alone. “It was babies, from two inches to measured (harvestable) lobsters.”
Chubbs, who is the custodian at the Bonne Bay Marine Station, was ready to do what she could to get the creatures to the tanks at the marine station, but everything was dead. “There was nothing that I could help save.”
She later called Bob Hooper; the retired MUN professor is the founding director of the station and still volunteers there, to get his thoughts on the discovery.
From the pictures she sent, Hooper was struck that there was a mixture of species, so he feels the creatures were not killed by a disease.
“Everything looked very healthy, apart from being dead,” he said.
He also noted that all the creatures washed up reach their northern limit in Newfoundland and are not things that are found in Labrador.
“The significance of that is it suggests that cold is the problem.”
He’s seen mortalities dozens of times between the fall and this time of year related to water temperatures getting close to and below freezing.
“Even it goes down a fraction of a degree it might make the difference between a connor being alive and a connor being dead.”
He said the loss is probably worse than it looked, as its possible more creatures than what washed up were affected, but hopes it’s localized to the shoal waters in front of Chubb’s house.
Something similar to this happened in Nova Scotia a few weeks ago as thousands of dead fish, starfish, crabs, clams, scallops and lobster washed up on the shore causing concern for public and scientists alike.