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HomeSpecies2019 Gray Whale Unusual Mortality Event

2019 Gray Whale Unusual Mortality Event

NOAA FISHERIES

Along the West Coast Since January 1, 2019, elevated gray whale strandings have occurred along the west coast of North America from Mexico through Alaska. This event has been declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME).

Since January 1, 2019, elevated gray whale strandings have occurred along the west coast of North America from Mexico through Alaska. This event has been declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME).

Why are gray whales stranding?

Full or partial necropsy examinations were conducted on a subset of the whales. Preliminary findings in several of the whales have shown evidence of emaciation. These findings are not consistent across all of the whales examined, so more research is needed.

As part of the UME investigation process, NOAA is assembling an independent team of scientists to coordinate with the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events to review the data collected, sample stranded whales, and determine the next steps for the investigation.

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