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

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

‘Dirty Money’ in Nanoose Bay: Dr. Peter German to speak at ElderCollege

‘This is an evolving study’: presenting up-to-date information on B.C. organized crime

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Most Read