Four whale deaths in one week off B.C. coast confuse scientists

Whale deaths are piling up in B.C. as four new deaths have been reported this week and scientists are baffled over the cause. Alaska has reported similar whale deaths in the past month. This has scientists trying to connect the four whale deaths in B.C. to those that have occurred in Alaska.

Marine mammal specialists from Canada have been on the road trying to determine the cause of death of two humpback whales found in Klemtu and Haida Gwaii as they prepare to do the same for two other whale bodies that have been seen floating in Hecate Strait and off the coast of Vancouver Island. The deaths have been perplexing as Alaska has reported 21 humpback and fin whales dead in the last month. This has marine officials very concerned.

It will take at least two weeks to obtain results from the Canadian whale deaths. Once results are received, scientists and officials from Canada are going to have discussions with the U.S. to determine if there is a possible link to the deaths. The samples should also determine the cause of death and whether there is a pathogen responsible.

The whale found in Klemtu was a female whale and was tracked down by a group of First Nations guardians. The initial reports were that the whale died from being tangled in fishing gear because of marks and scars on its tail. However, marine experts say that may not be the case and that results are needed before conclusions are drawn.

The whale population has made recent strides in Canada. However, disturbing occurrences such as this will set the clock back in a hurry if a cause and solution is not found. Hopefully, test results will reveal the cause and a plan of action can be implemented immediately.

Story source and image source.

4 comments

  1. Maybe it has to do with that algae growth in the ocean all up and down the west coast. It is poisonous . There is also supposed to be extra acidic water on the west coast as that is the reason for the poisonous algae growth. All fish die, that is what I read. Nothing lives on the west coast for some reason. I would not want to go swimming. Maybe something should be done about the acidic water.

    • Interesting point. I do remember acidic water being blamed for killing 10 million scallops in Qualicum Beach not too long ago.

    • You think it has to do with that, “poisonous algal growth”? Sure, could be. But, what about this (what they are calling, the..) “Blob”, is dangerous? How did it even become to be? How about all of the tritiated water (radioactive hydrogen which has turned all of the water radioactive?) which comes out of Fukushima, daily? Anyone who believes 400 tons of tritiated water, carrying plenty other isotopes along with it, into the sea and to the shores of the Americas, is nothing? Should relly have his or her head examined.
      And these so-called scientists need to turn in their degrees as they have lost all ability to reason.

      • Anne, it is hard to understand why it takes so long to get results back. I’m not a scientist so I’m not sure all that is involved in obtaining results but I feel like it is taking way too long. You mentioned the Blob…I wrote an article on it not too long ago as it made its way into the Puget Sound. It is growing and is getting more dangerous. Here is the link to the article if you are interested http://www.ameripublications.com/?p=1151.

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