Three Dead Whales Wash Ashore Northern California Beaches in a Week

A dead whale washed ashore in Northern California earlier this week, making it the third whale to wash ashore in a week and the fifth time since March.

Photo by the Marine Mammal Center

A dead whale washed ashore a beach in Northern California earlier this week, making it the third whale to wash ashore in the past week and the fifth time since March.

The Whale was discovered on Bolinas Beach near Point Reyes National Seashore on Tuesday and scientists from the Marine Mammal Center plan to perform a necropsy on it soon to determine the cause of death.

This has become an all-too common occurrence in NorCal, with whales found near Oakland’s Jack London Square and Tennessee Valley Beach on the same day last week. Both were killed when they were struck by boats. They ranged from 36 to 45 feet long.

Scientists agree that the whales were most likely feeding off the bay floor when they came up to the surface and were struck by the boat. Although boat traffic in the area can cause these deaths, most of the whale deaths in the area are from the mammals getting entangled in fishing gear. Earlier in March and April, two whales were found in the bay, with one dying from a fishing gear entanglement.

Whales migrate from the Baja area of California up north from about early-March through May. Some whales even make areas like the Redwood National Park their home for the summer months.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there were 31 whale entanglements in fishing gear reported off the West Coast in 2017, lower than in the previous two years, but still much higher than pre-2014 levels

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Telling the Stories of Northern California


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