Record number of dead beaked whales washed ashore in Ireland
THE NUMBER OF dead beaked whales that have washed ashore during the month of August has reached record levels.
Between 3 and 22 August, a minimum of 16 Cuvier’s beaked whales washed up dead on the Irish coast while during the same period at least 13 were found in Scotland and two in Iceland.
Strandings Officer for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Mick O’Connell has said that the numbers reported are the absolute minimum as previous studies have suggested that only a small number of dead animals actually get washed ashore.
In previous years, annual strandings for this species would typically have been between zero and three for an entire year.
No cause of death has been established for any of the mammals as they all washed ashore in very poor conditions.
The IWDG has said that causes such as diseases and plastic ingestion are all unlikely because the condition of all the carcasses implies that they all died around the same time.
“The behaviour and distribution of this species make large-scale fisheries interaction also seem unlikely,” the group said.
Courtesy of thejournal.ie