Tuesday 21 April 2020

It's happening again! A new mystery is unfolding in Nova Scotia as hundreds of dead seals, some headless are washing up on its beaches: The mystery began in Nov 2016 when tens of thousands of herring and other species died

Picture credit CBC

It's happening again! Hundreds of dead seals are washing ashore in Nova Scotia, some headless or with flesh missing from the head??? 'This does happen occasionally, depending on the year', (Marine Animal Response Society)...Yes, it does but only in Nova Scotia, this is indeed very mysterious and something I have been monitoring on The Big Wobble since November 2016 when tens of thousands, many damaged of dead herring kept washing ashore along the rocky beaches of western Nova Scotia, prompting a retired scientist to enlist the help of local naturalists and bird watchers as he continues to gather data about the mysterious phenomenon. The die-offs kept coming from dead Herring, Lobster and Scallops, whales and seals through to 2018 when the die-offs appeared to have stopped, the deaths appear to have begun again and the strangest fact of all is that many of the dead have serious wounds. Jump forward to April 2020 and it's started again.

April 2020: Hundreds of seal carcasses have been found in Cape Breton and Sambro, Nova Scotia.

Hundreds of dead seals have washed up on shores in Cape Breton and near Halifax in recent days, prompting an investigation by the Marine Animal Response Society. Andrew Reid, the society's response coordinator, said it has received a number of reports over the last week about juvenile seal carcasses washing ashore in Cape Breton and Sambro, N.S., just outside Halifax. Reid said there are believed to be several hundred dead seals in total, (The true count is probably much more as most of the dead would have sunk, comment added by Gary Walton), including roughly 70 in the Sambro area. Eleven washed up on Geoffrey Howard's family property in West Pennant, just outside of Sambro. He said he went out to look after hearing his neighbour counted 27 along the shoreline on his property.

Most of the seals were within about 10 metres of each other. He said the sight was "mysterious." "What natural occurrence could have caused so many seals to wash up at once? It wasn't so much fear, it was more curiosity," he said. Reid said they are quite decomposed, but it does appear they are harp seals. "These would have been born further north, so it's likely they're washing in from up north," said Reid, adding that it's unclear how long the seals have been dead. The flesh from the head and upper torso have been removed from many of the seals, but the skull is still attached or sometimes found nearby. Necropsies will be conducted to try to determine the cause of death. Carcasses are being frozen, as the work can not be performed at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. CBC

What happened last week in Nova Scotia is a mystery which has been happening since 2016 and including from the smallest encrustations to the mighty whale.

"Everything's dead!" Marine mystery in Canada's Nova Scotia intensifies! Now everything is dying! was the headline of the second most popular post ever posted on The Big Wobble with 250,000 hits and 230 comments on the 1st of Jan 2017. A marine mystery confounding residents of southwest Nova Scotia when thousands of dead fish, starfish, crabs, clams, scallops and lobster washed up on the shore in Jan 2017. Residents of Plympton, a small community in Digby County, had been finding dead herring on the shore of St. Mary's Bay for more than a month, but recently much more marine life started washing up dead.

Dead fish have also been found on the shores of the Annapolis Basin."We started finding starfish, crabs, flounder. We found ocean perch and then yesterday we started finding scallops on the beach and like I said everything's dead... we'd like to know what's going on," said resident Karl Cole. "It's just really sad to see, you know, hundreds of starfish, shellfish." Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced that tests on the dead herring had produced negative results, meaning no infections or infectious agents had been detected in the small, silvery fish. TBW 

In May 2018 a new mystery was unfolding in Canada's Nova Scotia as dead and damaged fish began washing up again!

Nova Scotia was once again at the centre of another dead fish mystery as fishermen around the Minas Basin had been finding unprecedented numbers of injured fish in their nets for more than a week, and there have been reports of other, larger, marine life washed up on local shores. At the beginning of January residents of southwest Nova Scotia were confounded as hundreds of thousands of dead fish, starfish, crabs, clams, scallops and lobster washed up on the shore, which went on for weeks with no one knowing why. TBW

It All Started Back In November 2016 WhenMany Thousands Of Herring, Starfish, Lobsters And Even A Whale Began Washing Up In A Remote Area Of Nova Scotia 

Photo cdnpoli

Scientists didn't know what was killing large numbers of fish and other sea creatures washing up in a remote area of western Nova Scotia. Scores of herring, starfish, lobsters -- even a whale -- have washed up over the past month between St. Marys Bay to Tusket. Scientists say it’s too soon to know if the whale’s death is related to the others. Disease So far, all tests for bacterial and other diseases have all come back negative, according to experts.

There are some viral tests that have not yet to be completed, so disease remains a possibility.
Storm runoff Storms can be deadly for marine life, according to Smedbol.
So far nothing anomalous has been noticed in the weather patterns but it remains a possibility, according to Smedbol. 

The new tidal turbine, a new five-storey-high underwater turbine started generating power for consumers in November. Many armchair scientists believe this is the cause of the die-off but Smedbol says the evidence to date doesn’t support that theory. Video evidence shows some of the animals washing up on the beach are still alive when they get there, and the turbine is about 160 kilometres away. TBW

Animal Die-Offs 2020

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