November 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Humpback whale found dead near Tsawwassen likely victim of ‘catastrophic ship strike’

Raw video: Global 1 captures images of the dead humpback whale that washed up on the shores near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says a humpback whale that washed up dead near Tsawwassen earlier this month was likely hit by a vessel.

The female whale was found near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on Nov. 16, and a necropsy was conducted the same day.

READ MORE: Dead humpback whale found near Tsawwassen ferry terminal

The DFO says the results of that necropsy have revealed results “consistent with catastrophic ship strike with propeller injuries.”

The DFO is investigating the death.

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The agency has previously said that humpbacks are not uncommon in the waters around Tsawwassen, and that there has been a resurgence of the cetaceans in the Georgia Strait.

According to a 2017 DFO study, humpbacks are the most commonly reported species involved in vessel collisions, with one being reported injured or killed every nine months in B.C.

The DFO has also concluded a necropsy for an orca calf found dead near Gold River on Vancouver Island on Nov. 14.

READ MORE: Feds to create ocean sanctuaries off Vancouver Island to protect endangered killer whales

The agency has concluded that the calf was a transient killer whale, and that it died three to five days after its birth.

It was unable to conclusively determine the cause of death, however, it said it was likely the result of separation from its mother, the death of its mother, neglect or a failure to thrive.

DFO biologists are analyzing blood and tissue samples from the calf and hope to have more results within two to three weeks.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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