On October 6, a dead Minke whale washed ashore on Martinique Beach. This followed close on the heels of the discovery of a dead fin whale in New Brunswick. In other countries, such a discovery would prompt authorities to conduct an investigation to determine, among other things, cause of death. A notification would be sent to the International Whaling Commission, under which all whales are protected.
On the east coast of Canada, however, such a discovery prompts no response at all. Rescue organizations lack resources to carry out such investigations. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has the resources, but lacks the will.
In April, dozens of dead gray seal pups washed ashore on Nova Scotia beaches. In other countries, protocols exist directing such incidents are worthy of investigation. The DFO, however, declared it unnecessary to investigate the cause of the massive die-off.
It is shameful that the DFO, which is tasked with protecting our oceans and all life therein, is not interested in determining the cause of mysterious deaths of marine mammals on the east coast of Canada. —Bridget Curran, Halifax