Between 2015 and 2020, two Unusual Mortality Events have been declared for wales along the western coast of British Colombia and the United States, indicating the possibility of a disturbance to the marine ecosystem.
Observation by Ivy-Jane Jacobsen:
Someone brought it in to town so people could harvest some whale! But not sure of how it died someone just said it was floating around and then someone thought it would be a good idea to bring it into town so people could harvest some of it.
Comments from LEO Editors:
This observation has been shared with Melissa Good, SeaGrant Marine Advisory Agent in Unalaska, and with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Observations of sick or stranded marine mammals, and samples from marine mammal carcasses, can give scientists clues to the health of the animal before it died. This information is becoming more important as the marine ecosystem changes due to warming temperatures. Humpbacks, and other species of whales have already died at unusual rates, indicating an ecosystem level disturbance. Between 2015 and 2016, an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) was declared for whales in the Gulf of Alaska and along the western coasts of British Colombia and the United States. Beginning in 2019 and continuing in to 2020, a UME for gray whales has been declared for gray whales. The causes of these deaths are still under investigation by scientists. Erica Lujan
If you see a sick or dead sea mammal, please report it immediately to the appropriate regional contact below:
NOAA’s Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network 24-hour Hotline: 877-925-7773
North Slope Borough: North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management: 907-852-0350
Bering Strait Region: Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program: 855-443-2397 / 907-434-1149
Bering Strait Region: Kawerak, Inc. Subsistence Program: 907-443-4265
Bering Strait Region: Eskimo Walrus Commission: 877-277-4392
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program: 855-443-2397 / 907-434-1149