For immediate release
December 29, 2016 – Digby (Nova Scotia)
Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova, released the following statement on the recent washing ashore of dead marine life along the shores of southwestern Nova Scotia:
“For the last several weeks, I have become very concerned with the washing up of dead herring on the shores of St. Mary’s Bay, the Annapolis Basin, and near Pubnico. This concern has significantly increased over the last couple of days with the discovery on December 26th of other species, including starfish, scallops, crabs, mussels, clams and lobster, washed ashore along St. Mary’s Bay near Plympton. A healthy ocean and marine life are vitally important to southwestern Nova Scotia, where so much of our economy and our identity depend on the fisheries and our coastline.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other federal partners are well-aware of the situation and have been investigating potential causes since late November. They have been conducting lab tests and analysis related to infections, toxins and predation, which have all returned negative to date. Additional tests are expected to be completed shortly.
I have been in regular contact with the office of the Honorable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on this situation. I have spoken with Minister LeBlanc and I expressed my concerns over the importance of this matter. I am confident it is being treated as a priority within his Department. I will continue to push federal departments to mobilize resources at their disposal to continue investigating the cause of this concerning situation and to ensure that the public is kept apprised of ongoing developments in a timely manner. My office will also communicate new information as it becomes available, and will continue to collaborate with provincial and local officials as the situation evolves.
I would like to thank the many concerned citizens who have contacted me regarding this matter and offering their points of view. I also thank those who have been taking photographs and communicating their findings with DFO and others. Ultimately, we are hopeful that coordinated efforts and science will get to the bottom of this situation so that, if possible, we can begin working on remedying its cause.”