The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is investigating after dozens of dead seals were found on a beach and in the waters off Prince Edward Island.
A group of students from the Charlottetown-based Atlantic Veterinary College found as many as 50 dead seals over the weekend.
The students stumbled upon the bloody carcasses of many grey seals either dead or dying. Some of seals were pups.
DFO officers responded to the beach on Black Brook Road near Murray Harbour in the eastern part of the Island.
Fisheries officers have sent samples of the dead animals to Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust, a wildlife pathologist at the veterinary college, who will perform the necropsies.
Daoust and some students were at the site of the deaths on Monday but he said he cannot yet determine the cause of death.
Steve Hachey, communications advisor with DFO, says their investigation will determine whether the seals died of natural causes or were killed.
Hachey says charges could be laid under the Fisheries Act if the test results confirm the seals were killed.