Biologists blames ships for dead whales
Four dead gray whales washed ashore on San Francisco Bay area beaches in nine days, and experts announced that two of the giant aquatic mammals were killed in ship strikes and the others are under investigation Saturday. two.
Biologists with the non-profit Marine Mammal Center in California said in a statement Saturday that two dead whales washed ashore in the bay area on Thursday, joining two more that were discovered dead on area beaches since the March 31st.
Of the four animals, two died from blunt trauma caused by ship collisions.
Responding to four dead gray whales in just over a week is alarming because it really puts the current challenges facing this species in perspective.
Other common causes of gray whale death include starvation and complications from becoming entangled in deep-sea fishing nets and other equipment.
Climate change can affect water temperatures, impacting the availability of food for whales, which can grow to nearly 50 feet in length and migrate about 10,000 miles each year between foraging grounds in the cold waters of the North Pacific. and breeding areas in warm water lagoons. of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico.
Currently, the species is not considered endangered, but it is protected by the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracks whale populations. Their latest study published in 2016 found a population of 27,000 gray whales. Data from a 2020 study is still being analyzed, according to the NOAA website.