Scientists say no obvious reason to date for massive herring kill in Nova Scotia

The Canadian Press
Published on December 30, 2016

HALIFAX — Federal fisheries officials say weeks of testing has pointed to no environmental problems as the cause for thousands of dead herring and other marine creatures washing ashore in western Nova Scotia.

Kent Smedbol, manager of population ecology for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says while the lack of an obvious cause is perplexing, he doesn't personally believe there is cause for concern at this point.

Smedbol says scientists conducted testing on the Bay of Fundy Thursday and preliminary results for temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen came back normal.

A camera scan of the bottom of St. Marys Bay also showed normal conditions and an abundance of live lobster in the area.

To date, Smedbol says scientists have not turned up evidence of disease, parasites or toxins.

Since late November, dead herring have been found in a 100-kilometre swath from St. Marys Bay to Tusket, with most found between the mouth of the Sissiboo River and Plympton.

More recently, scores of starfish, clams and lobster have also littered the shoreline and a dead whale also washed ashore on a beach in Whale Cove.

The Canadian Press