Necropsy to be performed on marine mammal to determine the cause of death
These Central Middle School students spent their last day of class on the beach.
“Very smooth skin.”
That’s where they found this harbour porpoise.
“A big group of our friends were over here like, just like having a little adventure.
Three of the girls saw it, Karina, Kaitlyn and Natalie, and told me to bring my teacher over here.”
Harbour porpoises are some of the smallest marine mammals found in Canadian waters, and are a species at risk.
“There’s been a dramatic shift in what we see in the waters near Victoria in terms of the porpoise species.
We are seeing more harbour porpoise.
They seem to be doing a little bit better than they were decades ago, but they are still a species at risk.”
The Dall’s Porpoise is the other species found off the waters of Vancouver Island, swimming in deeper waters than the harbour porpoise.
But the sightings are down dramatically.
And no-one knows exactly why.
“The Dall’s Porpoise is actually becoming fairly rare most of the year.
And we do not have an explanation, no, not yet.”
Earlier this month, an unusual sighting of short-beaked Common Dolphins off Port Angeles, milling for fish.
And while they may be called Common, these marine mammals generally don’t journey north of California.
“We have like over 130 kids here right now.
And so many were coming here and looking.”
The death of this smallest of marine mammals is the focus of much attention.
Now the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will perform a necropsy to determine a cause of death.