60+ dead #seals found washed up along the coast in #Alaska, #USA

Raime Fronstin/National Park Service/Associated Press

At least 60 dead seals have been discovered along beaches of the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in northwestern Alaska, and scientists are trying to determine what caused their deaths, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Wednesday.

The bearded, spotted and ringed seals have been found at sites ranging from southern edge of the Bering Strait region to the Chukchi coastline above the Arctic Circle, NOAA’s Fisheries said.

Ice in the Bering and Chukchi seas has been far scarcer than normal, and sea-surface temperatures have been far higher than usual, according to scientists and agency reports. But the cause of the seal die-off is as yet unknown, said Julie Speegle, an Alaska spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries.

“We are mobilizing to get our marine mammal experts and our partners there to get some samples,” she said. “It could be a harmful algal bloom. It could be a number of things.”

Courtesy of cbc.ca

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