The whale near Tsawwassen shores on Nov. 16 (Kieran O’Connor/Black Press Media)

Tsawwassen humpback killed by ‘catastrophic’ ship strike, DFO says

The whale was found floating by the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on Nov. 16

The whale that was found dead near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on Nov. 16 was likely killed after being hit by a ship’s propeller.

On Friday, Nov. 16, a resident saw a humpback whale floating in the shallow waters outside the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. The dead whale was on the east side of the causeway, when Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s marine response team began to work with the Tsawwassen First Nation to move the whale and perform a necropsy.

RELATED: Dead whale discovered near BC Ferries terminal

According to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada news release, the necrospy found the humpback injuries indicated it was hit by a ship’s propeller. The results were consistent with a “catastrophic ship strike,” the release said.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is investigating the situation.

Another necropsy was performed on the same day for a killer whale calf that was found off the west coast of Vancouver Island two days before.

RELATED: Dead killer whale discovered on Nootka Island

The killer whale was a transient, and not part of B.C.’s endangered southern resident killer whale population. It was born alive, and likely died between three and five days after it was born. The necropsy indicated the whale likely died because it was separated from its mother, its mother died, it was neglected, or it failed to thrive.

The department will continue to analyze blood and tissue samples to determine a more accurate cause of death. Those results are expected in two to three weeks.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada also acknowledged the Tsawwassen First Nation and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation communities for their ceremonial offerings before the necropsy on both whales.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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