KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – The cause of a Gulf of Alaska whale die-off in 2015 is still unknown, but researchers believe changes in oceanographic conditions could have played a part.
The Daily Kodiak reported (http://bit.ly/2plzTZG ) Thursday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say warmer gulf waters could be the cause.
From 2000 to 2004, nine fin whale carcasses were found in Alaska. But in the summer of 2015 alone, 44 carcasses of various whale species were found.
This increase in whale deaths correlated with other unusual events in summer 2015. A similar whale die-off occurred in waters near British Columbia, which has been linked to algal toxins found in the carcasses.
A fisheries veterinarian says toxic algal blooms could be linked to the warmer surface water temperatures and the whale die-offs.
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com