On Saturday, April 24th, the San Fransico bay had it's fifth whale stranding in 3 weeks. Our team, alongside The Marine Mammal Center, and California Academy of Sciences, identified a 46-foot juvenile male fin whale that washed ashore on Fort Funston beach. During the necropsy, we detemined the potential cause of death to be a vessel strike because we saw bruising and hemorrhaging to the muscle around the whale's neck vertebrae.
Read more about the fin whale stranding here.
A large mass stranding of pilot whales occured on New Zealand's remote Chatham Islands on Sunday 11/22/2020.
In total 97 pilot whales and 3 dolphins were found deceased.
It is unknown what caused this mass stranding, or what causes them in general. However mass strandings are to some extent common on the Chatham Islands. The DOC. stated that in 1918 up to 1,000 whales were stranded on these islands, which was the largest recorded mass stranding in New Zealand. This also comes two months after one of the largest recorded incident that left 380 whales dead on a beach in Tasmania, Australia.
Read more from BBC here.
A young fin whale, estimated to be about a year old, became trappen in the Dee Estuary which is in Flintshire, UK. The whale died on Sunday 6/14/2020 after it had become beached several times in the same area. A team initailly refloated the whale and it seemed to swim towards sea, however it ended up restranding. A post-mortem examination, necropsy, showed damage consistent with a live stranding of a nutritionally compromised individual.
Read more about it here.
An northern elephant seal was found off Highway 1 near the Elephant Seal Vista Point. This animal's body cavity was cut open, its tail fins were cut off and there was a bullet in its head. Harming a marine mammal in any way violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act and a reward is being offered for any information regarding this case.
Read more about this story from KSBW.