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Whales are becoming more susceptible to entanglements

Rescuers free entangled whale

A new study shows that with increasing ocean temperatures, that whales could be pushed closer and closer to shore.  A large heatwave coined as "the blob" created increasingly warming ocean temperatures from 2013-2017.  During these years krill was in short supply, leaving anchovies as the primary food source for humpback whales.  Due to habitat compression, these anchoives were pushed closer to shore and the humpbacks followed their food source into prime crab fishing habitat.  

Read more from the Los Angeles Times here.

Another Beaked Whale Stranding!

Beaked whales are some of the most under studied whales, due to their deep diving and elusive behavior.  A few months ago our team at the Long Marine Lab had the rare opportunity to respond to a live stranded beaked whale on Scott's Creek beach.  Unfortunatly the animal was injured, so we made the decision to euthanize the animal.  Initially we thought the animal was a different species of beaked whale due to it's color pattern, but we later learned that younger individuals have completly different color morphs than the adults!   You can read more about that here.

A couple days ago another beaked whale washed ashore in Point Reyes and it has initially been identified as the same species as the one that stranded on Scott Creek, a Hubb's Beaked Whale.  Their suspicions will soon be either confirmed or denied once DNA testing is complete.  You can read more about that stranding case here.


whale in surf 410

Welcome to the Long Marine Lab Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Our mission is to advance science, education, and public awareness of marine mammals and ocean health through response and detailed examination of marine mammal carcasses. For over 25 years we have contributed high quality research data to the broader marine mammal science community. These data have been used by numerous researchers to further understand marine mammal populations. Along with data from our neighboring partners, stranding network data has also contributed to changes in fishing regulations, better understanding of marine mammal health and disease, and the link between human and ocean health.