Three more dead gray whales discovered on Alaska coast

A dead gray whale floats near Wrangell, Alaska. Taken 6/17/2019. Credit: Ceona Koch

Three more dead gray whales were discovered in southeast Alaska this week, bringing the total number of fatalities this year to 10.

NOAA Fisheries declared the high rate of whale strandings an 'Unusual Mortality Event' on May 31st, when the total for Alaska was only at four.

As of Thursday, a total of 167 dead gray whales have been discovered along the west coast -- including Mexico and Canada.

NOAA Fisheries has not pinpointed the exact cause of the deaths, but their investigation is ongoing.

"We are thinking that disease may not be a factor in the deaths of these gray whales," Julie Speegle, as spokesperson for NOAA stated. "Our main theory continues to be that it is related to the food source for these gray whales."

According to NOAA, Alaska typically sees an average of 10 to 11 beached whales in a calendar year.

NOAA encourages citizens to reach out to their hotline if they spot a marine mammal stranded or in distress at 877-925-7773.

Dead Whales Map