04/02/2013 01:51 EDT | Updated 06/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Dead squid whodunit verdict is death by natural causes

Hundreds of dead squid mysteriously turned up in Victoria's Gorge Waterway this past week, but the gruesome sight may just be a sign that the ecosystem is healthy.

Passers-by first began noticing the dead cephalopods over the weekend, grouped together at the floor of the waterway. Theories abounded about how they got there. Some thought a shipment of expired calimari had been dumped.

But Paula Romagosa, a marine educator with the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, said the creatures appear to be opal squid, which are indigenous to the West Coast.

"We do have a lot of opal squid around British Columbia, especially on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and occasionally we do see them come in, into Victoria, and they'll find shallow bays where they can lay their eggs," she said.

Like spawning salmon, once the squid lay their eggs, they all die.

Romagosa says the strange sight along the waterway is actually a sign that the local ecosystem is doing well.

"This is an indication that The Gorge is a healthy area for animals to come in an lay their eggs," she said.