Another emaciated whale carcass washes ashore amid mysterious rise in 'starving' sea mammal deaths along West Coast

A gray whale carcass washed up in Oxnard, California on Thursday just weeks after one washed up on the west of Malibu near the Ventura County line


                            Another emaciated whale carcass washes ashore amid mysterious rise in 'starving' sea mammal deaths along West Coast

Another gray whale carcass washed up in Oxnard, California adding to the mysterious surge in the number of the dead sea mammals showing up along the West Coast.

A gray whale carcass had also washed up on the west of Malibu near the Ventura County line in March.

According to Justin Viezbicke, the California stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an unusual number of dead whales have appeared along the state's coast this year, with many of them appear to be starving. “We are above average for this year,” Viezbicke said, the USA Today reported.

The death toll for gray whales along the West Coast has crossed 30, marking the highest number of the sea mammal carcasses for this time of the year since 2000. A total of 86 whales died in 2000 by this time of the year.

Moe Flannery, Ornithology and Mammalogy collections manager at California Academy of Sciences, inspects a dead grey whale before performing a necropsy with scientists and volunteers with the Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences on April 23, 2019 in Tiburon, California. (Getty Images)

Reports state that dozens of more gray whales which washed ashore this year have still managed to live, however, they showed signs of malnourishment. Sightings of mother-calf pairs have also significantly decreased.

The California stranding coordinator said that the Oxnard whale carcass was first reported to his agency on Saturday at Mandalay State Beach. Viezbicke added that considering the whale was 30 feet long, it was relatively young.

Reports state that a necropsy has been planned for the latest whale carcass in an attempt to find out what is causing these sea mammals to be emaciated and malnourished. 

Moe Flannery, (R) Ornithology and Mammalogy collections manager at California Academy of Sciences, and Jackie Isbell, research intern at the Marine Mammal Center, inspect a dead grey whale before performing a necropsy with scientists and volunteers with the Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences on April 23, 2019 in Tiburon, California. (Getty Images)

A NOAA spokesperson, Michael Milstein, said that there is still a healthy number of nearly 27,000 grey whales migrating along the Washington coast every year. However, the recent increase in the number of dead whales has become a cause of concern and scientists are trying to learn more. 

According to Michael Milstein, a NOAA spokesperson, just three or four grey whale carcasses were reported to have washed ashore at this time last year, but that doesn’t mean there is cause for concern.

Milstein says there is still a healthy number of roughly 27,000 grey whales that migrate along the Washington coast every year; that said, he thinks the recent uptick in dead whales could help scientists learn more about the conditions of the Pacific Ocean off of pacific northwest coastlines.