A dead sea lion at the hovercraft ramp on Parksville’s waterfront has brought odour complaints to the city, but DFO has recommended letting nature take its course. — J.R. Rardon photo

Resident sea lion an unwanted guest

Dead animal on Parksville beach cannot be removed by city

A sea lion on the beach in Parksville has proved to be an unwanted guest. But it may not be leaving any time soon.

The dead sea lion, lying just beside the hovercraft ramp at the end of the seawalk at Community Park, was first reported to the city office on Monday (May 15) . It is not known exactly when it appeared, and whether it died on the beach or was washed ashore after dying.

But, despite some concerns to the city from trail walkers about the potential smell, there is little the city can do about the decomposing animal carcass.

“Unfortunately, it is not a city mandate that we can deal with,” Coun. Teresa Patterson said during Monday evening’s council meeting. “It has to be with DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and other environmental organizations that will wind up looking after that aspect of nature.”

Patterson described the response she received from DFO as “let nature take its course.”

Blaine Russell, the city’s director of community planning, said the city is still exploring options for potentially removing the sea lion carcass.

“We do have calls in to various agencies at this time,” he said. “It would be wonderful if DFO would come and take it out to sea. It’s not something we’re equipped for, or within the city’s area of expertise.”

The carcass is lying just below the high-tide line, in an area popular with people hiking the beach walk and trails. The jurisdiction falls under the control of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), so the animal is not, technically, on city property.

“It’s certainly an interesting division of responsibility,” said Russell. “The ground from the high-tide mark on down is owned by province, but the layer of water in between is federal. As far as environmental issues there, fisheries would take precedent.”

Steve Ackles, acting sergeant of the mid-Island region office of the Conservation Officer Service, confirmed the sea lion would fall under DFO jurisdiction.

“We handle wildlife and freshwater fish, but sea mammals and anadromous fish are under control of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” Ackles said.

There is one other authority that could step in and take care of the matter.

“Hopefully, a big storm will come and wash it away,” Russell said with a laugh.

DFO was unavailable for comment.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

POLL: Do you use the bus system regularly

Question of the week, July 17

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read