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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

EDITORIAL: Real communication can solve problems

Neighbourhood dispute in Columbia Beach made headlines

COVID-19: SD69 working on how to organize schools for planned fall re-opening

Qualicum School District required to have plan to ministry by Aug. 26

RDN Transit requiring masks for most come end of month

Masks, hand sanitizer to be handed out in Regional District of Nanaimo mask policy campaign

Major injuries averted after three-vehicle crash in Nanoose Bay

Poor road conditions believed a factor in early-morning mishap

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Most Read