Beached whale prompts questions
Henry Hicks, who lives in Halls Harbour, N.S., said he first noticed the whale behind his home on Wednesday.
"The first reaction when we found the whale was an environmental concern," he said.
"There were a lot of questions that came to mind that, here it is, potentially going to decompose on our beach."
Officials with the Marine Animal Response Society said the whale Hicks discovered on Wednesday was likely the same one that washed up last week in Tennycape, N.S.
Dick Killam, a Municipality of the County of Kings councillor, said he has heard from fishermen who suspect the whale may have encountered an experimental tidal turbine in the Minas Passage.
"They have real concerns that the whale might have had a collision with the turbines off of Parrsboro, in the Cape Split area," Killam said Thursday.
"I think it's very important that they find out what happened to this whale. That's the bottom line."
Last week, Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro — the two companies responsible for the turbine — announced two blades on their 400-tonne turbine had broken off.
The turbine will be lifted out of the water later this year so researchers can figure out what went wrong.
Mark Savory, the vice-president of technical and construction services for Nova Scotia Power, said at the time that the damage was likely not connected to the death of the whale.
Killam said despite that statement, fishermen in the area are still concerned.
"Because of what happened with the turbines — and I understand they have lost two blades — what caused that? Who knows," he said.
"All of a sudden, now we have a whale that's been sliced open by what? We don't know. And I think that has raised the concern and the fear of the whale possibly having contact with the turbine."
The Marine Animal Rescue Society said at least one gash on the whale's carcass happened after the whale beached.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said a full examination is needed, but they cannot get the required heavy equipment to the whale carcass.
The fin whale is the second largest whale species and the second largest mammal in the world.