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krill (Thysanoessa spinifera) ~ 4cm long
General · 21st May 2009
Deb Cowper
I just received this infomation (via email) from DFO. I have heard several people comment that they had seen "many thousands of tiny creatures washed up on the strand-line at the Spit" ... this seems to be the answer to the mystery....

In late April,2009 a massive amount of krill washed up on the beaches of Quadra Island, in Quathiaski Cove near Walcan and also at Rebecca Spit. It was reported to be miles long and like a carpet along the shoreline! A sample collected was identified as primarily Thysanoessa spinifera with a few Euphausia pacifica in the mix. Similar reports of krill strandings came from Sechelt Inlet in April, 2009.

Mass strandings of euphausiids have happened in the past; a mass stranding of krill occurred at Rebecca Spit, Quadra Island, May 29, 1966, est. at 6 tonnes with lots of bird activity (Mackas & Fulton, 1989).

These euphausiids are important prey for birds, whales, and a number of marine species.