‘It’s definitely a pulse of deaths’: Four whale carcasses in one week have scientists puzzling over cause

National Post

The discovery of four dead humpback whales in B.C. waters in a single week, just as Alaska is experiencing a surge of whale deaths, has scientists searching for a possible connection.

In the last few days, Canadian marine mammal experts have travelled north to Klemtu and Haida Gwaii to perform necropsies on two humpback carcasses, while another two dead whales have been spotted floating in Hecate Strait and off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Meanwhile, 21 humpback and fin whales have been found dead in southeast Alaska during the past month, said Paul Cottrell, Pacific marine mammal coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“It’s definitely a pulse of deaths and something that we’re going to keep our eye on,” Cottrell said.

No cause has been pinpointed for any of the deaths and results of this week’s two necropsies in B.C. will take weeks to come back. Once they arrive…

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