Animals

20,000 Sea Creatures Wash Ashore in Mysterious Die-Off

No cause has yet been found for the mass death of fish, lobsters and other marine life in Nova Scotia.

<p>Twitter/Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans<span></span></p>

An estimated 20,000 sea animals have washed up in Nova Scotia, with no reason yet found for the massive kill.

Creatures including herring, starfish, clams and mussels have washed ashore by the thousands on the beaches of St. Mary's Bay in the western part of the Canadian province, National Post reports.

The mysterious kill began one month ago, with only herring coming ashore, but it has now expanded to include a variety of sea life. So far, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) officials have ruled out toxins, infectious disease or predation as causes for the die-off. Water quality assessments are still being performed.

While many such kills result from low concentrations of oxygen in the water, scientists on scene have found nothing suspicious in the oxygen levels, according to recent tweets from the DFO.

A turbine that recently came online just 90 miles (150 kilometers) away was considered "highly unlikely" as a possible cause of harm to the animals.

In short: "We have ruled out the usual suspects," Kent Smedbol, manager of population ecology for DFO told CBC.

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Meanwhile, life seems to be going along swimmingly offshore. There is no evidence of further deaths, and underwater footage shows sea life behaving normally, with plenty of live lobsters in view.

The DFO is for now urging citizens to steer clear of any fish onshore, and the agency will continue its attempts to solve the mystery.

"We're going back to the drawing board to make sure that we have not left any stone unturned," Doug Wentzell, DFO regional director of fisheries management, told National Post.

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