Awful smell of decay



I reside adjacent to a decaying sea lion on Davis Bay beach. When I contacted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans asking when the rapidly decaying corpse would be removed, the buck was passed to the District of Sechelt, who passed it back to DFO.

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I received the following response to an email sent to the District of Sechelt: “The District of Sechelt has no authority over our beaches. The ocean falls under the federal Fisheries and Oceans and the foreshore is in the provincial jurisdiction under the Ministry of Environment. It is our understanding that conservation officers have attended the area and declined to move the carcass.”

In a second email the district said: “Our staff have also notified conservation and have been told to leave it to nature to take care of.” Unfortunately, nature turned the carcass around, moving it closer to the Parkway.

A bylaw for noise – “any sound that is loud, harsh or undesirable and which unreasonably disturbs the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience, of the neighbourhood in which the sound is received, or of a person in the vicinity” – can be enforced by the District of Sechelt.

Yet in regard to the harsh, undesirable stench created by a beached, decaying mammal within close proximity to residents that results in unreasonably disrupting the peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort of the neighbourhood in which the stench is received, or of a person in the vicinity, the district is helpless.

It’s my understanding that if the creature’s death was inflicted by man it should be removed by same. Considering the head is severed suggests the mass of decaying flesh likely was caused by an encounter with a boat’s propeller.

The unpleasant aroma wafting on the ocean breeze interferes with the sweet scent of lilacs in bloom – what a welcome for tourists this long weekend.

Carmen Borthwick, Sechelt

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