MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Gray whale carcass washed ashore, among 300+ whales unexpectedly dead

Apr 5, 2023, 6:09 AM | Updated: 6:52 am

whale...

(Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)

Update 6:11 a.m.:

Scientists say a 41-foot gray whale that was found on the shore of Fox Island most likely died after it collided with a ship.

According to the Cascadia Research Collective, a necropsy showed this whale died from blunt-force trauma.

The marine mammal was emaciated – but scientists say in this case, its’ health may have been a mitigating factor, but not the official cause of death.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife removed the whale’s carcass from Fox Island, to an undisclosed beach so it can decompose naturally without negatively impacting residents living near the previous location.

Original:

Yet another body of a gray whale has washed ashore in western Washington.

The emaciated 41-foot-long marine mammal washed up on the shores of Fox Island in Pierce County over the weekend.

Dem senators from 4 states ask NOAA to address whale deaths

According to the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the whale matched the description of one reported multiple times over the last few weeks, swimming and appearing sickly throughout the Puget Sound waters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the number of gray whales found on beaches and along shorelines from Alaska to Mexico has been growing over the past four years.

It’s become so concerning that NOAA Scientists have declared an “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME), which is described as a significant “die-off” of any marine mammal population.

NOAA statistics show since 2019, 307 gray whale carcasses have been found along the West Coast. That includes four whales found since January 1, 2023.

Necropsy examinations of some of the whales indicate many have been emaciated, but it’s too soon to say what has led to the condition.

NOAA has assembled an independent team of scientists to review the samples and data to see if there are any connections between the UME and any shifts in the ecosystem. After that, they will decide what must be researched next.

Some Senators are now calling on NOAA to address this UME urging “transparency and timeliness” in determining what is causing the unusual deaths. In their letter to an NOAA administrator, the Senators, including New Jersey Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker; Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ask for NOAA to detail how it plans to address and prevent whale deaths and whether specific actions by Congress or the administration might help.

If you find a stranded or floating whale, you can contact the U.S. Coast Guard or the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-866-767-6114

Officials say it is best if you do not approach or touch any injured or dead marine mammals.

MyNorthwest News

lea hill shooting...

Luke Duecy

Shooting erupts in Auburn’s Lea Hill neighborhood, one injured

Auburn Police is investigating an early morning shootout in Seattle's Lea Hill Neighborhood that sent one woman to the hospital.

2 hours ago

Image: Kimberly Cheatle, then director of the U.S. Secret Service, testifies during a House Committ...

Associated Press

Secret Service director Cheatle steps down after assassination attempt against Trump at rally

Kimberly Cheatle, the director of the Secret Service is stepping down from her job, according to an email she sent to staff.

4 hours ago

teens guns chinatown seafair...

Frank Sumrall

Three teens –ages 13, 14 — arrested for brandishing handguns at Chinatown Seafair Parade

Seattle police arrested two 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old during the Chinatown Seafair Parade for having and displaying loaded guns.

6 hours ago

Photo: A law enforcement vehicle's lights....

James Lynch

SPD: Armed good Samaritan saves pregnant woman from attacker

Seattle police said an armed good Samaritan came to the rescue of a woman during a domestic violence incident and shot her attacker.

18 hours ago

NAACP kamala harris...

Sam Campbell

‘It’s about time’: NAACP leader in WA applauds possibility of Harris as presidential nominee

NAACP members reportedly scrambled to regroup following President Joe Biden’s sudden withdrawal from the race on Sunday.

22 hours ago

hit-and-run lake city...

Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio

Hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City kills one early Monday morning

A man was killed in a hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood at Northeast 125th Street and 30th Avenue Northeast Monday morning.

1 day ago

Gray whale carcass washed ashore, among 300+ whales unexpectedly dead