By Stephanie R. Ostrowski, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM

ProMED this week reported an undiagnosed die-off of fish, specifically herring, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Thousands of dead fish have been washing up on the beaches of St. Mary’s Bay for approximately the last two weeks. The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) began investigating after receiving multiple reports of dead and dying herring. Global warming affecting marine habitats may play a role, according to a local a wildlife biology professor, Ted Leighton. “It could be some kind of toxic algal bloom; the Gulf of Maine is crazy warm right now,” he said. DFO labs are able to test for parasites, infectious diseases, toxicity, etc. Early results are expected sometime this week. ProMED—the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases—is an Internet-based reporting system dedicated to rapid global dissemination of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and acute exposures to toxins that affect human health, including those in animals and in plants grown for food or animal feed. READ MORE