Fifty-eight grey whales have been discovered stranded and dead till now this year in sites stretching from California to Alaska,according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dozens of grey whales have also been discovered dead alongside the U.S. West Coast in current weeks and a few scientists consider the trigger lies far to the north, within the heated-up Arctic waters off Alaska
The latest discovery announced by NOAA on Wednesday was a dead grey whale in Turnagain Arm, a narrow glacier-fed channel off Anchorage where grey whales very rarely venture.
As per the spokesman for NOAA’s Fisheries Service,Michael Milstein, he said on Thursday that they were moving north from their wintering grounds in Mexico and appear to be running out of steam.
Milstein said that the dead whales examined so far have been malnourished, and the current hypothesis is the animals failed to eat enough last year in their summering grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas of Alaska.
The other theory about the whale deaths is also that the population of the grey whales in the Wastern North Pacific have grown large to about 27000 so they may be competing for food. So lesser the food there is bound to be more deaths of the whales.
Climate scientists and biologists say that lack of sea ice and extraordinary warmth related to it have been linked to several disruptions in th the Bering and Chukchi seas, including bird and seal die-offs. As per Rick Thoman, a climate scientist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, it affects the whole food web from the algae to the krill on up.