The dead gray whale will be taken to Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where scientists will perform a necropsy on the animal to ascertain the cause of death.
In a rather shocking incident, a dead gray whale has been washed ashore in California's San Francisco Bay Area on Monday. It is now indeed a cause of concern for the scientists as this is the ninth such incident this year. And it is only May.
"The death of nine gray whales in the San Francisco Bay Area this year is a cause for serious concern and reinforces the need to continue to perform and share the results of these type of investigations with key decision-makers," Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at the center, was quoted as saying by CNN.
The dead gray whale will be taken to Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where scientists will perform a necropsy on the animal to ascertain the cause of death. The center had earlier completed necropsies on the eight other dead gray whales in the region so far this year.
"It is critical for scientists to conduct in-depth necropsies to better understand why animals are dying," the center said in a news release. "Whales and other marine mammals face numerous human-caused threats and solutions must be found to protect healthy and vulnerable species alike."
According to the research team at The Marine Mammal Center, the most common causes of death in whales include ships strikes, malnutrition and entanglements. The team also found out that out of the 8 whales that had died, 3 of them died because of ship strikes while four of them died due to malnutrition. The cause of death of the eighth whale is yet to be confirmed, according to the center.
The biologists have revealed that the gray whales were often seen in "poor body condition" in the recent months, possibly due to "anomalous oceanographic conditions over the past few years that have contributed to shifting food sources." They also said that the number of gray whales near the San Francisco Bay Area has significantly increased as the population migrates north.
“We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future," Duignan added.
Commercial whaling has had a long-lasting impact on the mammal's population and the environment. However, the 1986 ban made commercial whaling illegal worldwide, but the fight doesn't merely end there. Three countries -- Japan, Norway, and Iceland — are still involved in commercial whaling, despite the 1986 moratorium. They have killed thousands of whales, and sell their meat on the illegal black market. However, the future is not entirely bleak. Organizations and people across the world are doing their bit to find solutions to global environmental problems. Leading the fight among others is Green Peace. Its mission is to find and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. It allows individuals to be part of the solution and provides a platform for everyone to do their part. You can make donations here.
This is the 9th dead gray whale to wash up on San Francisco shores in the past 2 months. Rising ocean temps are threatening their food supplies -- evidence of the mass #extinction predicted by yesterday #UN report. Yet as @GretaThunberg points out - where are the headlines? pic.twitter.com/bFqsVYttO1— 'Abbey' (@DaveRhody) May 7, 2019
It is important to create awareness about Japan’s black-market whale meat trade, and the Japanese media needs to help create a discussion over the protection of whales. It is also important to change the mindset of the governments voting in favor of Japan for its approach to commercial whaling and instead vote to protect whales.
Several endangered whales have to deal with many problems created by humans, be it global warming, pollution, ship strikes or even ocean acidification. They sometimes even get tangled in fishing gear every year, resulting in their death. We need to take measures to protect the whale population before its too late.