Thousands of dead fish washing ashore in St. Marys Bay leaves scientists puzzled

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Scores of Atlantic herring are washing up on the shores around St. Marys Bay, N.S., but the reason isn’t clear.

Within the last week, the herring have appeared on a 20-kilometre stretch of shoreline running between Marshalltown and Gilberts Cove.

“It seems to be a bit of a unique event in terms of just the sheer numbers that are showing up dead,” said Shawn Craik, a biology professor at Université Sainte-Anne.

On Friday, Craik took some students to the shore at Gilberts Cove. He said that in some spots, there were eight fish washed up in a square-metre block.

“If you extrapolate that over the entire beach, we’re talking about thousands of fish,” he said.

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While there, he spoke with a clam fisherman who said that in his 40 years of clamming on the beach, he had never seen anything like this.

The Digby detachment of Fisheries and Oceans Canada began receiving calls from concerned citizens about the problem on Tuesday, said Gary Hutchins, the detachment’s conservation and protection supervisor.

He said samples have been sent to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s lab in Moncton and the results are expected back the middle of next week. Source


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