A gray whale carcass was found earlier this week on the beach at Bunkers, a popular surf spot in the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area.
Researchers from Cal Poly Humboldt Marine Mammal Stranding Program responded to the scene Tuesday to collect samples, and according to Director Dawn Goley, this particular Eschrichtius robustus was a male juvenile measuring 27 feet long.
“It was emaciated but showed no additional signs consistent with a ship strike or fatal killer whale attack,” Goley said in an email to the Outpost.
Gray whales on the West Coast have had a rough few years. Since the start of 2019 they’ve experienced an elevated number of deaths and strandings, a trend that NOAA Fisheries has designated an Unusual Mortality Event. Between January 1, 2019 and February 8 of this year, 613 stranded gray whales were found between Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and the Chukchi Sea in northern Alaska, according to Humboldt Baykeeper.
Read More