Dead whales have already been mysteriously washing up in California recently, but 30 new whale bodies have been found much further north along the Alaskan coast. The reason for the mortalities is still unknown, and scientists say that it may take years to ascertain the exact cause of the sudden skyrocketing in whale deaths.
According to RT, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that the whales which have washed up along the Western Gulf of Alaska have forced authorities to declare a state of emergency known as the Unusual Mortality Event. Among the massive creatures that have perished are fourteen humpbacks.
Six dead whales have also washed up on the nearby British Colombia beaches. NOAA is communicating with the Canadian government in hopes that shared information can lead to more accurate research into the matter.
Teri Rowles, a coordinator of NOAA Fisheries’ Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, said, “While we do not yet know the cause of these strandings, our investigations will give us important information on the health of whales and the ecosystems where they live.”
While we do not yet know the cause of these strandings, our investigations will give us important information on the health of whales and the ecosystems where they live.
Several Alaskan islands have witnessed the giant sea creatures washed up on their shores, including Kodiak, Afognak, Chirikof, and Semidi. Kodiak Island was the first to receive a dead whale earlier this year in May. Only one whale has had samples taken from it. Scientists are searching for any biotoxins, bacterial agents, and viral agents that might give them clues about the cause of death.
Scientists have said that it is highly unlikely that the whales were contaminated in connection with Fukushima. A statement from NOAA reads, “Preliminary results do not suggest any unusual exposure to human-generated radionuclides, specifically cesium, that would be considered harmful to wildlife.”
NOAA has begun collaborating with native Alaskans, as well as state and federal partners, to investigate the cause of the whale deaths. Wired says that NOAA will be updating the public on its investigations through its government website.