Hundreds of dead whales have washed up on the West Coast, and scientists have no idea why.
Late Friday, a dead whale washed up on the shores of the San Francisco Bay Area, marking the region’s 12th such incident this year.
The death is one of many in an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) on the west coast of North America, according to scientists. Hundreds of gray whales have died since the beginning of 2019.
The gray whale washed up on Pacifica State Beach on Friday, May 21, according to reports. According to tissue samples, it was a 47-foot male, according to Giancarlo Rulli, a spokesman for The Marine Mammal Center.
A necrospy is a form of analysis used by marine biologists to learn more about what caused a whale to die. However, since the animal had been dead for so long, a necrospy was not necessary in this situation.
According to Bay Area news outlet The Mercury News, the whale is the tenth gray whale to be confirmed dead in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2021, along with one pygmy sperm whale and a fin whale.
Since January 1, 2019, an increased number of gray whale strandings—whales being stranded on land—have occurred in the current UME, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA recorded 454 gray whale strandings across Canada, the United States, and Mexico as of May 6, 2021. It’s almost probable the number has risen.
Although the cause of death for all of these animals has yet to be determined, a number of them are suspected or proven to have been killed by ships.
Early results showed “evidence of emaciation” in some whales observed, meaning they appeared abnormally thin or frail, according to the NOAA. More study is required, according to the agency, because the results are not consistent across all whales studied.
Researchers concluded in April that a fin whale that washed up near Fort Funston, California, on April 23 had most likely died as a result of a ship strike. The whale’s neck had been injured, they discovered.
This was the fifth whale death in the Bay Area this month alone.
Likewise, the gray whale which landed on the Pacifica State Beach on. This is a condensed version of the information.