A female grey whale was found dead in the waters off Boundary Bay Wednesday morning. (Contributed photo)

Sixth grey whale found dead off B.C. coast in 2019

Marine mammal response team and Coast Guard are in the waters off Centennial Beach

Fishery officers are in Boundary Bay today (Wednesday), after a dead grey whale was found in the waters off Centennial Beach.

Paul Cottrell, a South Surrey resident and assistant marine mammal co-ordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, told Peace Arch News the animal – which he located Tuesday while out checking on grey whales – is a large female, measuring 13 to 16 metres.

No obvious signs of trauma can be seen, Cottrell said from aboard the fishery vessel.

Members of the marine mammal response program are securing the animal and working with DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft to tow the animal for necropsy, he added.

According to a May 31 Fisheries and Oceans Canada report, five grey whales have been found dead along the B.C. coast in the past two months – including three on the shores of Haidi Gwaii – “which is an upward trend from recent years.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with its counterparts in the U.S and Mexico to examine the potential cause of the deaths, which are occurring on the whales’ spring migration north to summer feeding grounds, the report states.

READ MORE: UPDATE: 3 grey whales wash up on B.C. coast in uptick from previous years

READ MORE: A happy ending: Two grey whales stranded in Boundary Bay headed back to sea

READ MORE: Grey whales make ‘pit stop’ in White Rock, expert says

Strandings began Jan. 1, and as of May 20, there had been 60 in the U.S., approximately 73 in Mexico and five in Canada.

Last month, two grey whales – a mother and calf – became stranded in Boundary Bay, also near Centennial Beach, during low tide. The marine mammal response team assisted the pair back to deeper waters.

Also last month, for a span of a couple of weeks, a pair of grey whales were spotted almost daily in Semiahmoo Bay, catching the attention of many waterfront visitors. They were seen within 100 metres of the White Rock Pier.

Fisheries research scientist Thomas Doniol-Valcroze told PAN at the time that the whales’ appearance is “perfectly normal” for this time of year. They make frequent “pit stops” to find food and refuel, he said.

According to the May 31 report, the grey whale is listed as a “species of Special Concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act,” and where possible, necropsies are conducted to both try and identify cause of death as well as if there are threats to the rest of the population.

All five grey whales found dead in B.C. so far have been necropsied or sampled by the marine mammal response team and the province, the report states.

“All the animals indicated poor body condition, with additional results expected over the next month.”

Cottrell said a necropsy on the whale found Wednesday will likely be done on Thursday (June 6).

Just Posted

Telkwa Coun. Matthew Monkman steps down

Village administration recommends late November, early December by-election

Council backs return of Smithers Steelheads

Town grants the club the arena concession, approves a beer garden and will pay for centre ice logo

Northwest couples compete at His and Hers golf tournament in Prince Rupert

Kitimat and Smithers couples take home the hardware

100 years since the surrender of Simon Gunanoot

The famed Gitsxan hunter was a fugitive for 13 years

Smithers celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

The day included dancing, singing, a moose call contest and a soapberry ice cream tutorial.

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read