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

Michael Silberbauer named first coach of Pacific FC

The Island’s James Merriman named assistant coach

No new leads in 1992 Guyatt murder case

Newspaper clippings will not lead to the discovery of Shannon Guyatt’s body, says police

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two… Continue reading

Two Waters project to bring 700 town homes, condos to Colwood

Relevant Properties forging ahead with project

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

UPDATE: Saanich Police seek to identify suspect in sexual assault

Assault occurred in broad daylight in tent near Ravine Way

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Another person stabbed at a tent city on Vancouver Island

Incident happened Friday afternoon in Nanaimo; injuries were not severe

Most Read