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Three dead whales found near Bella Bella

Three dead whales found near Bella Bella

Fin whale carcass found near Bella Bella. Courtesy of Paul Cottrell/DFO.

Fin whale carcass found near Bella Bella. Courtesy of Paul Cottrell/DFO.

Three dead whales have been found ashore just north of Bella Bella.

Paul Cottrell is the Pacific Marine Mammal Coordinator with the DFO, and he says they were notified about the whale carcasses on Saturday.

Despite two of the whales being over 40 feet long, and one over 50 feet, Cottrell says they have been identified as juvenile fin whales.

He says it’s unusual for three baleen whales to be found ashore in such close proximity.

Cottrell says there aren’t any outward signs of what killed the whales.

Multiple samples from the carcasses have been taken, despite their state of decomposition.

Lab results will take about six months.

He says it could have been transient killer whales forcing the whales ashore, or something they ate.

Alaska had a number of dead whales wash ashore this summer, and Cottrell says he’s in touch with his Alaskan counterparts and sharing data with them.

Fin whales are listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act.

Cottrell also thanks the Heiltsuk Nation and the Coastal Guardians, as well as others on the water, for contacting the Marine Mammal Response Network.

The network helps marine mammals in distress, and collects data from dead ones.

About Gene Law

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