Whales have been dropping like flies in the Gulf of Alaska. Approximately nine whale carcasses were sited in late May and early June. Now, fisherman have spotted five more decomposing whales, a fin whale and four humpbacks, to add to the death toll.
…No one knows what caused the death of the whales; however, scientists are narrowing in on the kernel of truth as they weed out possibilities. What scientists do know is that all the whales appear to have died around the same time. Continue reading
SEATTLE — A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.
This coastal ribbon of microscopic algae, up to 64 kilometres wide and 200 metres deep in places, is flourishing amid unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures. It now stretches from at least California to Alaska and has shut down lucrative fisheries. Shellfish managers on Tuesday doubled the area off Washington’s coast that is closed to Dungeness crab fishing, after finding elevated levels of marine toxins in tested crab meat.
So-called “red tides” are cyclical and have happened many times before, but ocean researchers say this one is much larger and persisting much longer, with higher levels of neurotoxins bringing severe consequences for the Pacific seafood industry, coastal tourism and marine ecosystems.