South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay in April 2021. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay in April 2021. (Contributed photo)

Blunt-force trauma contributed to death of whale found near White Rock: DFO

Necropsy determined the mammal was injured near its blow hole

Blunt-force trauma is believed to have contributed to the death of a grey whale found floating between Point Roberts and White Rock last April.

READ MORE: Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) marine mammal co-ordinator Paul Cottrell said this week that a necropsy confirmed the whale was struck on its dorsal side, near the blow hole.

Exactly what caused the trauma, however, was not determined.

“The origin of the blunt force event is unknown,” Cottrell, a South Surrey resident, said Thursday (Nov. 25).

The male whale was first spotted floating in the Semiahmoo Bay area on April 15.

The DFO co-ordinated with the Canadian Coast Guard to tow the animal to the Sea Island Coast Guard base, located in Richmond, and a necropsy was conducted to determine the cause of death.

DFO spokesperson Lara Sloan told Peace Arch News at the time that such exams “feed into a growing body of knowledge to assist in assessing the threats to whales from population health perspective.”

“This data allows us to look at trends, pathogens, or other indicators that may affect their life history.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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