Dead minke whale dis­cov­ered on beach

Whale washed up on shore­line in Yar­mouth

Tri-County Vanguard - - News - CARLA ALLEN THE­VAN­GUARD.CA

The body of a minke whale mea­sur­ing close to 20 feet was dis­cov­ered on the west­ern shore of Yar­mouth Bar on Christ­mas Day.

An­drew Reid, a re­sponse co-or­di­na­tor with the Ma­rine An­i­mal Re­sponse So­ci­ety (MARS), said of­fi­cials with the Oceano­graphic En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search So­ci­ety and the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans had vis­ited the dead mam­mal on the beach and col­lected sam­ples and mea­sure­ments.

From the length of the whale, Reid es­ti­mated it is a ju­ve­nile minke whale. Re­ported max­i­mum lengths for minke whales are 30-35 feet for fe­males and 29-32 feet for males. Both sexes can weigh four to five tons at sex­ual ma­tu­rity. They typ­i­cally live 30-50 years.

Reid said a necropsy would be nec­es­sary to de­ter­mine more ac­cu­rately how the whale died, but he said it was un­likely the pro­ce­dure would be done at this time of the year.

He added from the ini­tial im­ages he’d seen, it didn’t ap­pear the whale had sus­tained in­juries from a ves­sel’s prop.

“There would have been deeper gashes if they had been from a prop,” he said, adding some of the marks on the whale’s body likely came from shore­line rocks or where sam­ples were taken.

This isn’t the first time a whale has washed ashore in Yar­mouth County at this time of the year. On Dec. 23, 2015, the body of 30-foot male hump­back washed ashore near Sand­ford.

In 2009, DFO staff spent a cou­ple of days in late De­cem­ber work­ing to save stranded pi­lot whales that had beached them­selves near Port Mait­land and Bartlett’s Beach. Some were re­turned to the wa­ter with as­sis­tance, some were able to go back to sea when the tide came in but at least a cou­ple of the whales did die.

If you find a ma­rine mam­mal in dis­tress in Nova Sco­tia, or a whale that’s washed ashore, call MARS at 1-866-567-6277.

ERVIN OLSEN PHOTO

A dead minke whale was dis­cov­ered on the west­ern shore of Yar­mouth Bar on Christ­mas Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.