Jaalen Edenshaw with his father Guujaaw and young companion inspecting the grey whale carcass found south of Jungle Beach in May 2019. Three whales washed ashore Haida Gwaii in the span of two weeks. (Archie Stocker Sr.)

Haida Gwaii sees fourth grey whale washed ashore, eighth for B.C.’s coast

A total of 171 grey whales have been found dead on the west coast from Mexico to Alaska

A fourth whale has washed up on the beaches of Haida Gwaii, making this the eighth dead whale to arrive on B.C.’s coast this year.

A grey whale washed up on North Beach, east of Masset, sometime in the last week, said Andy Lewis, North Coast area chief for conservation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A request for comment from the federal government has not been returned.

PHOTOS: Stranded grey whale on Jungle Beach

READ MORE: Haida Gwaii grey whale deaths add to growing trend

Lewis said scientists are investigating the death and performed an autopsy on Sunday, July 7.

As of June 27, 171 grey whales have been reported stranded from Mexico up to Alaska, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – 85 in the U.S., 78 in Mexico, and 8 in Canada.

READ MORE: Sixth grey whale found dead off B.C. coast in 2019

The numbers are so high, the U.S. organization declared the phenomenon an “unusual mortality event,” indicating a “significant die-off” of whales that requires an immediate response.

The grey whale death trend has been significantly higher in 2019 than the past 18 years, according to data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who declared the phenomena an “unusual mortality event”. (Stats from NOAA website)

 

READ MORE: Spike in grey whale deaths on West Coast prompts investigation


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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