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Salmon freezing to death in Nova Scotia

File photo

File photo

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 1:33 PM - Above-average salmon mortality rates are being reported at three Nova Scotia locations due to extremely cold water temperatures.

The high mortality rates were reported in the Annapolis Basin, Shelburne Harbour and Jordan Bay.

"A department fish health veterinarian has visited the sites in Port Wade and Shelburne and will visit the Jordan Bay site in the next few days to investigate the expected cause of death," Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell told reporters.

"Our provincial fish health veterinarians investigate mortality events to rule out diseases of concern." 

A preliminary investigation suggests a superchill occurred in the area, a phenomenon that occurs every five to seven years. That, combined with low tides and cool air, is the likely cause.

RELATED: Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in Cape Breton

Scientists do not believe the deaths pose a threat to the environment.

Cooke Aquaculture spokesperson Nell Halse told FIS salmon can survive in below-freezing temperatures, but a superchill can result in a spike in mortality rates.

In January, environmentalists expressed concern after hundreds of dead fish turned up in Cape Breton's Bras d'Or lake. Experts believe that January's unseasonably warm weather may have fooled the fish into swimming into the area, resulting in an "error of judgement" that led to their death.

Source: FIS


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