This year, the total of dying grey whales on their migration from Mexico to Alaska has reached a horrifying number. Dozens of them beached along the coast of Alaska and San Francisco, adding up to a total of 610 whales so far. Recently, we wrote about 50+ washed up whales and the increasing number is scary.
Scientists are still speculating that the problem lies in the food and their feeding ground around Alaska. Grey whales do their annual round between mating and feeding ground.
Necropsies done on dead grey whales reveal that they die with an empty stomach, suggesting that these whales may have died from starvation. Some were even already dead when they have washed up the shore.
Grey whales stock up on food and put up weight in order to survive their long distance travel along the shore. They would occasionally show up near the shore and leaves the next day, yet some of them are stuck in one place for too long.
For example, a grey whale was found dead in Turnagain Arm, a narrow waterway where whales rarely venture in. These whales are probably scraping for food, resulting in their delayed journey.
Chief research pathologist from Marine Mammal Center in Sausalit California, Padraig Duignan, said about the phenomenon, “It’s likely that after not feeding this winter, she didn’t have enough reserves built up to survive her journey north.”