The carcass of a 50-ton whale that washed
ashore sometime on the weekend lays on the beach at Slack's Cove, south of
Dorchester, on Sheopody Bay.
Questions remain as
whale carcass being put back in sea
MONCTON - More
than three days after a 50-ton whale washed up on the shores of Shepody Bay
south of Dorchester, officials have decided who is responsibile for disposing
of the putrid carcass.
But while the whale's remains will
be carted away as early as today, questions remain about what caused its death,
or how it ended up in Slack's Cove.
The injured whale was
first seen Saturday in another cove on the Cumberland Basin, which connects to
Chignecto Bay and the Bay of Fundy.
On Sunday, Daniel
Michaud, of the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources in Dieppe, was on
site and said the whale, which is believed to be a fin whale, was dead, but
away from shore.
"When they're injured away from shore
it's not us, it's not our mandate;' said Michaud on Wednesday. "Where we come
into play is when it's beached, that's why we're here:'
The Department of Fisheries and oceans deals with injured
"We're just trying to get the whale off the beach
right now," said Michaud. "Looking at different options to try to get it out,
but we're still in the planning stages."
afternoon, local excavating companies were called in to see if the whale could
be pulled up a steep embankment surrounding the cove. If it could, it will be
trucked out and buried. If not, the department would then explore pushing it
out to sea.
"It's probably one of the worst places it
could have got into - along the coast here," said Michaud, adding offshore
rocks would also create problems in removing the whale.
He said he believes either way, the whale would be gone
How the whale died or how it came to rest in
shallow waters remain unclear.
"I don't know," said
Michaud. "That's Fisheries and Oceans."
Department of Fisheries and Oceans was singing the opposite tune.
"The Department of Natural Resources was there and they
may have drafted a report;' said Michel Therien, communications for fisheries
management. "Like I said, I haven't heard anyone from our science branch
wanting to collect data."
He added that contact
information of his departments scientists were given to Natural Resources, but
didn't know anything further beyond taking an educated guess himself.
"From the photos I have seen it appears that that whale
may have been struck by a vessel,' said Therien. "All the marks on her back,
her fin almost cut in two, but that's just my opinion."
member of DNR's communications department did not know of any report and said
she had no information on the whale's cause of death.
did say it was the fifth whale to die in that area in the past five years.
Whale experts at the Atlantic Veterinary College in
Charlottetown did not return calls.
Members of the Marine
Animal Response Society in Nova Scotia said they would be making the trek to
determine the whales cause of death late last night.
normally only deal with Nova Scotia, but we're going to go take a look at this
mammal," said Andrew Reid, one of the groups coordinators. "I can't really say
anything about the cause of death right now. It depends if we will see anything
obvious on why it was stranded."