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Thousands Of Dead Fish Washed Ashore In Nova Scotia; Why? Scientists Have No Idea

First Posted: Jan 02, 2017 03:50 AM EST
Thousands Of Dead Fish Washed Ashore In Nova Scotia
Massive fish kill in Canada: thousands of dead fish scattered on the coast of Sissiboo River.
(Photo : CTV News?YouTube screenshot)

Scientists are perplexed regarding the reason of a massive fish kill in Nova Scotia, Canada. Thousands of dead herring were found dead in the coastal region of St. Mary's Bay and Tusket. This trend has been continuing since November 2016. Scientists have been collecting samples and analyzing them for the presence of any physical deformities, indicators of diseases as well as doing molecular analysis to screen for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, but all in vain.

Till date, no specific reason responsible for this massive kill has been identified. In the meantime, more number of fishes, including starfishes, lobsters and clams, are found dead in the region. Recently, a dead whale was also found on the beach of the famous Whale Cove.

No statement has been made by the federal officials regarding the possible cause of this event and its impact on the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem of the region. Kent Smedbol, Population Ecology Manager, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), said that though the lack of an obvious cause is "perplexing," the results obtained by the scientists do not necessarily indicate any need for concern, according to US News.

Kent Smedbol said, "I can't speak for the department, personally at this point from most of the studies that have been undertaken, the evidence provided to date, I don't think there's a great cause for concern."

According to a latest report published on The National Post, as a precautionary measure, a camera scanning of the benthic region of St. Mary's Bay was done. The scan showed normal conditions and the presence of numerous live lobsters.

Derreck Parsons, senior compliance program officer, DFO, informed that there is a change in the collected samples of dead herring and it does not indicate any further intensification of the die off.

Furthermore, some officials believe that the storm, which passed by the region during the Christmas holidays, caused sudden drop in temperature in the shallow water near Digby. It is predicted that the drop in temperature and the rough surf conditions on the surface caused the death of these benthic creatures, which are getting washed ashore now.

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