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Massive Fish Die Off: Nova Scotia Canada - Cause Unknown

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posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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Dead starfish, lobsters among species washing ashore in Nova Scotia following deaths of herring

Halifax resident Eric Hewey was home in Digby, N.S., visiting for the holidays when he got a call from friends on Boxing Day summoning him to the beach below Savary Park in nearby Plympton.

"They said we've got to come down and look at the beach."

On Tuesday Hewey described what he found when he arrived at the beach as sad: lots of dead herring — an ongoing and as yet unexplained problem — but also dead starfish, lobsters, bar clams, scallops and crabs.


Link to RSOE EDIS map and descriptions:


A marine mystery is confounding residents of southwest Nova Scotia who are watching thousands of dead fish, starfish, crabs, clams, scallops and lobster wash up on the shore. Residents of Plympton, a small community in Digby County, say they have been finding dead herring on the shore of St. Mary's Bay for more than a month, but recently other marine life has 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 Karl Cole. "It's just really sad to see, you know, hundreds of starfish, shellfish. I grew up clamming here so to come to your hometown and see so much death on the beach is really sad," said Eric Hewey. Hewey took photos of the beach and posted them to his Facebook page Monday, writing: "Herring, Lobster, Bar clams, Starfish and more. No idea what caused this. Likely it could be a natural disaster. Please try not to jump to any conclusions until we get a response from Natural Resources, or another credible source." In less than a day his post has been shared almost 11,000 times and garnered more than 1,000 comments. Many people are ignoring Hewey's admonishment and suggesting their own theories about what happened. But there are still no answers. On Dec. 15, 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. It said it would continue testing and warned consumers to only buy herring from licensed harvesters until they figure out why the fished died. Residents say the department is aware of the latest developments and has taken samples for further testing. CTV Atlantic reached out to the department for comment on Tuesday, but did not receive a response.

hisz.rsoe.hu...


I'm no scientist so all I can do is speculate, maybe some fellow members can offer possible explanations.

I know these things happen fairly often so maybe there's no cause for alarm but hopefully it doesn't spread whatever it is and that they can contain it before it gets worse for the locals. I've lived on several coasts and never been a witness to die offs. I remember the die offs on the West Coast, especially the starfish but I was not aware of any die offs in the Atlantic.




posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:36 AM
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Well, it's not Cascadia-related, so that's a good thing.

As to the cause, who knows. I'm guessing biological or maybe chemical related.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: real_one

In the last 5 seasons has there been an algae bloom? If so the cause is known.... puss
edit on AMAmerica/Chicago371012am by Aeshma because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:49 AM
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I have heard of fish die off but not heard of multiply species like lobsters..they are pretty hardy creatures that can live a couple hundred years..very troubling.
Our oceans are sick..when they die we will follow.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: real_one

In the last 5 seasons has there been an algae bloom? If so the cause is known.... puss


Could you please elaborate?

I'm not sure but are you implying that it could be a seasonal cycle of algae bloom?

Not doubting you just want to make sure I understood what you meant.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: real_one

Small concentrations of algae toxin will make its way to ocean floor in way of dead algae or fish carcass caught in bloom. Their organs cant metabolize toxin, instead store it until it kills them. Affected species are star fish which feed on filter feeders that live on bottom and scavengers that feed on bottom like crab or lobster.....



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: real_one

Small concentrations of algae toxin will make its way to ocean floor in way of dead algae or fish carcass caught in bloom. Their organs cant metabolize toxin, instead store it until it kills them. Affected species are star fish which feed on filter feeders that live on bottom and scavengers that feed on bottom like crab or lobster.....


This is under investigation and so far no algae has been detected, normally that would be one of the first things they search for. I can say with confidence that this is most likely not due to algae but I could be wrong. Let's see what they come up with when all the results are in. This has been going on for a bit so surely they already checked for algae.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: real_one

Algae or saxitoxin and its metabolites. Alternatively. Temperature change affecting oxygen solubility.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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This has been ongoing for a month..no toxin's detected as I think would in a Red Tide situation..also no dead seabirds which can be an indication of Red Tide/algae bloom.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:11 AM
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a reply to: real_one

It's probably Monsanto or some related company destroying another seafood sanctuary.

South Pacific-check
Gulf of Mexico-check
North Atlantic-check

Now eat our nutrientless gmo fish.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Aeshma

Extra decaying matter causing lower water level warmibg. Early turn of water carrying no oxygen. Organisms aphyxiate.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Geki09

No.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:23 AM
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a reply to: real_one

It seems to me that most of the time scientists and experts are left bewildered as to what is causing these mass die offs.. which is extremely alarming.

I fear for the future of the planet



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

Scientists wont make a statement with out evidence.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: real_one

Algae or saxitoxin and its metabolites. Alternatively. Temperature change affecting oxygen solubility.


My first guess would be something affecting the amount of oxygen in the water.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 03:01 PM
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Is it possible it could be the result of a large methane gas release(s)? Quick search showed a lot of press releases starting around 2013, but most were geared towards how the releases would increase global warming - no talk of mass fish/ocean die off though.

Nature.com

Methane emissions from the sea floor affect methane inputs into the atmosphere1, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation2, 3, the distribution of chemosynthetic communities and energy resources. Global methane flux from seabed cold seeps has only been estimated for continental shelves4, at 8 to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1, yet other parts of marine continental margins are also emitting methane. The US Atlantic margin has not been considered an area of widespread seepage, with only three methane seeps recognized seaward of the shelf break. However, massive upper-slope seepage related to gas hydrate degradation has been predicted for the southern part of this margin5, even though this process has previously only been recognized in the Arctic2, 6, 7.

edit on 12/28/16 by surfinguru because: Added off site reference



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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Red Tide is usually associated with warmer waters further South and even warmer air temperatures in the Summer. Being colder water and in the middle of Winter I don't see Red Tide as being the culprit....

Could be another type of Algae bloom.



posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 04:25 PM
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a reply to: surfinguru

I actually briefly thought of that as well as a possibility.

To me it sounds plausible, but I don't know the mechanics behind it.

I believe that tectonic movements can cause mass methane release, maybe they are looking into seismographs for the last little while, that may be the key.





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