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What’s killing whales off B.C.-Alaska coast?

Karin Larsen – August 20, 2018

The large number of dead whales appearing along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska since May is raising alarms among scientists. Thirty dead whales have been detected in the Gulf of Alaska since May, representing a die-off more than three times the normal rate, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Another six dead stranded whales have been reported along B.C.’s north coast over the same time period, also a significant increase above annual seasonal numbers. Paul Cottrell, Pacific marine mammal co-ordinator with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says his team is collaborating with U.S.officials to investigate the situation.

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Please be aware this article is 3 years old. The large whale UME (unusual mortality event) in the Gulf of Alaska is over. NOAA was never fully able to determine the cause but concluded the whales were likely malnourished due to changing ocean conditions (warmer waters, potential algal blooms, ect).