Hundreds of dead fish turn up in Cape Breton
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 3:14 PM - Environmentalists and locals are concerned after hundreds of dead mackerel washed ashore in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans conducted a survey of the Bras d'Or Lakes area Tuesday. Samples were collected, but a spokesperson told reporters officers "noticed no abnormalities" in the fish.
Viral testing for the area is ongoing, but bacterial testing has come back negative.
The Bras d'Or lakes are typically frozen in January but this year there's no ice cover -- leading experts to believe climate change may have influenced the mackerel die-off.
“The ocean climate is changing, and it’s changing at an accelerating rate,” Bruce Hatcher, chair of marine ecosystems research at Cape Breton University, told CTV News, adding that the fish may have died of natural causes.
He says they may have been fooled by the unseasonably warm temperature of the water this year, causing them to make an "error of judgement" that led to their death.
Hatcher believes the fish may have gotten trapped in shallow water as temperatures in the area plummeted.
RELATED VIDEO: LOCAL COMMUNITIES TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE: