Whales are dying off the coast of Alaska and no one knows why.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared the trend an “unusual mortality event” and will launch a scientific investigation to find the cause, the agency announced. The whales have become stranded around islands in the western Gulf of Alaska and the southern shores of the Alaska Peninsula.
Whales that have been found dead in those regions since May of this year include:
— 11 fin whales.
— 14 humpback whales.
— 1 gray whale.
— 4 unidentified cetaceans.
“NOAA Fisheries scientists and partners are very concerned about the large number of whales tranding in the western Gulf of Alaska in recent months,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, a marine mammal health and stranding response coordinator. “While we do not yet know the cause of these strandings, our investigations will give us important information on the health of the whales and the ecosystems where they live.”
NOAA is asking the public to help by reporting any sightings of dead or distressed whales by calling (877) 925-7773.