Kirsten Robinson - Photo                                NECROPSY REVEALS INJURY: An 11.8-metre-long male humpback whale carcass was recently discovered on Muscle Beach and a necropsy performed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Friday revealed the animal had a broken jaw that may have been caused by an interaction with a vessel. DFO plans to leave the whale where it is so it can contribute to the local food-web. Read about it on page 3.

Kirsten Robinson - Photo NECROPSY REVEALS INJURY: An 11.8-metre-long male humpback whale carcass was recently discovered on Muscle Beach and a necropsy performed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Friday revealed the animal had a broken jaw that may have been caused by an interaction with a vessel. DFO plans to leave the whale where it is so it can contribute to the local food-web. Read about it on page 3.

Humpback whale washes up near Ucluelet

A necropsy performed on the large mammal revealed it had a broken jaw, which indicates significant trauma.

The carcass of a humpback whale has washed up on shore at Twin Rivers beach near Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island.

Local marine mammal researcher Wendy Szaniszlo told the Westerly News on Sunday the area the whale washed up is around La Perouse Bank, where humpbacks are abundant and added that she particpated in a DFO survey in August where “well over 100” humpbacks were spotted.

“The humpback population is a growing population. There’s a lot of them,” she said. “They were listed as threatened and now their numbers are coming back. So, from a recovery perspective, that’s definitely a good news story…There’s definitely enough food for them, at least in this area and the fact that they’re not being hunted anymore goes a long way as well to help their recovery.”

Photos of the carcass were being shared on the Salmon Beach Village Facebook page Sunday afternoon and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers recently conducted a necropsy that revealed the mammal had a broken jaw.

“Unfortunately the lower right jaw was dislocated, which indicates some sort of significant trauma,” said DFO Marine Mammal Coordinator Paul Cottrell. “Human interaction could be the cause of that type of impact, it could be a vessel for example, but that’s something we don’t know at this point and we’re working with the samples we’ve taken and the pictures and all the details and hopefully we’ll be able to clarify things.”

The roughly 12-metre long whale is believed to have been dead for “well over a week” before being discovered, information might be hard to obtain as it was already in a state of decomposition.

Cottrell says the DFO hopes to leave the carcass where it is as it is not in a heavily used area and could be a key food source for local wildlife.

“If it’s isolated and not going to be a human danger, we’ll leave it where it is for other animals…All the marine critters there benefit from a huge animal dying like that, which is sad, but at least when it’s going back to nature it can help the food web that’s in that area,” he said.

One of the biggest threats to West Coast humpbacks is the possibility of being struck by boaters, adds Szaniszlo.

“That’s definitely a safety concern for the whale, but also people in smaller, fast boats as well. That’s the biggest concern so, if you see a blow, go slow,” she says.

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Most Read