Nearly billions of marine life, including mussels, shellfish and snails, have died from the heat wave in the North-East Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada, according to The Washington Post. Marine ecologist Alice Geman noted that this is the first time she witnessed such a scale of mortality among marine organisms.
Marine biologist Chris Harley estimates that the number of organisms killed could be close to a billion. Ken, Chief of the Marine Invertebrate Stock Assessment Research Program of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada, said the agency is monitoring the effects of the heat.
Thanks to their natural mechanisms, mussels are able to protect themselves from drying out. “They trap water inside their shell and close on land when exposed to high tides,” the article says. But this time the heat was a record one.
Oyster producers are suffering serious damage from what is happening. “If you lose 80 percent of your oysters of any size, then you are really losing business for two or three years,” said Jim Russell, director of the Shellfish Growers Association of British Columbia.
Earlier, in some parts of Canada, the temperature rose to 49.6 degrees. In the state of Vancouver, 130 deaths were recorded, one way or another related to the weather.