A humpback whale carcass has washed up on a Twin Rivers beach near Ucluelet.
Photos of the carcass were being shared on the Salmon Beach Village Facebook page Sunday afternoon and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers conducted a necropsy on the animal on Friday.
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.
“There were lots and lots of humpbacks. So, it doesn’t surprise me that, with so many in the region…we might see a dead one wash up around here,” she said.
She added the West Coast is celebrating a population boom that’s been coined a “humpback comeback.”
“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.”
She added one of the most significant threats to West Coast humpbacks is the possibility of being struck by boaters.
“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 said.