Spike in grey whale deaths on West Coast prompts investigation

Seventy whales found on U.S. territory from California to Alaska, five more on B.C. coast

A dead grey whale washed up on a beach. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cascadia Research)

The American federal agency dedicated to ocean science has declared an “unusual mortality event” as the bodies of dozens of grey whales wash up on West Coast beaches in Canada and the U.S.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, known as NOAA, says that 70 whales have been found on U.S. territory from California to Alaska and five more have washed up on British Columbia’s coast.

READ MORE: Dead grey whale on Washington State beach to be towed away

John Calambokidis, a research biologist with the Cascadia Research Collective, says it is early in the migration and the whales found dead represent a fraction of that number that actually die in the ocean.

This year’s figures are the highest since 2000, when the bodies of more than 100 whales were found.

The declaration of the event triggers a scientific investigation into the whales who migrate annually between the waters off Alaska and Mexico.

The whales population was severely reduced because of commercial whaling, but it now numbers around 27,000, although they are still listed as a special concern under Canada’s Species At Risk Act.

READ MORE: Two dead grey whales wash up in San Francisco Bay

READ MORE: Haida Gwaii grey whale deaths add to growing trend

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

River rescue near Fernie prompts log jam warning

The City of Fernie announced at the beginning of August a dangerous… Continue reading

Black Pistol Fire ignites Wapiti festival crowd

Off stage, Kevin McKeown is a calm, collected individual. On stage, he… Continue reading

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read