Herring washing ashore in St. Marys Bay leaves scientists puzzled

Scores of Atlantic herring are washing up on the shores around St. Marys Bay, N.S., but the reason isn't clear.

Within the last week, the herring have appeared on a 20-kilometre stretch of shoreline running between Marshalltown and Gilberts Cove.

"It seems to be a bit of a unique event in terms of just the sheer numbers that are showing up dead," said Shawn Craik, a biology professor at Université Sainte-Anne.

'Thousands of fish'

On Friday, Craik took some students to the shore at Gilberts Cove.

He said that in some spots, there were eight fish washed up in a square-metre block. "If you extrapolate that over the entire beach, we're talking about thousands of fish," he said.

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