Gray whale strandings increase along West Coast

Marine mammal experts conduct a partial necropsy of a gray whale near Cordova, Alaska. ©U.S. Coast Guard

Biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are tracking an unusual spike in gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) strandings along the Pacific Coast. Three gray whales have been reported in Alaska this spring, the latest appearing along the Kodiak coast on Tuesday. While some gray whale strandings aren’t unusual in Alaska the spring, these are receiving additional scrutiny because of the large number of strandings that have occurred this year along the Pacific Coast. To date, at least 60 gray whales have been found from Mexico to Alaska. Researchers are performing necropsies to try to understand why.

Read more from NOAA Fisheries here.