The Department of Fisheries and Oceans began investigating Nov. 22 after thousands and thousands of herring began washing ashore in the eastern end of St. Mary’s Bay.

dead-herring©Cindy Graham

DIGBY – People are organizing a protest to demand answers on the herring die off. They are planning to gather at the Digby Pier Light on the Digby waterfront at 12 noon on Dec. 30.

Julie Simard of Nictaux is a member of the Facebook group, The Water Protectors. She says isn’t sure how many people are coming to the protest, but says concern about the situation is spreading. She says 6,000 people have shared a link to the group’s petition asking for answers.

“Some of the people want to come and bless the waters, a sort of native ceremonial blessing of the water, some people see it as a vigil for all the dead sea life, and some people like myself want answers,” said Simard.

Simard says the health of our marine environment is her main concern.

“This is important to me because this is our livelihood, we are peninsula, we  are surrounded by water. This means everything to us.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans began investigating Nov. 22 after thousands and thousands of herring began washing ashore in the eastern end of St. Mary’s Bay.

[Dead herring washing up on shore of St. Mary’s Bay – DFO investigating, Nov. 22]

And then Nov. 29, people started seeing the herring wash up on the shores of the Annapolis Basin near Digby, Smith’s Cove and near Cornwallis.

[Thousands of dead herring in Annapolis Basin, Nov. 30]

DFO has confirmed reports of dead and dying herring as far away as Pubnico as well.

DFO shared results of their testing – all negative – on Dec. 14, meaning none of the tests had turned up any clue as to what has been killing the herring.

DFO said at the time that further testing could take a couple more weeks.

[DFO asks public to use caution with dead herring on shores of southwest NS, Dec. 14]

Then on Boxing Day, hundreds of starfish, dozens and dozens of little crabs, mussels and clams and lobster began washing up in Plympton.

[Starfish, crabs, mussels and lobster washing up on Plympton beaches, Dec. 14]

What’s Happening to the Humble Herring? by Ann Pohl

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