Mysterious Deaths of Whales in Mexico

“I’m worried. We are just starting the year and already we seem to see a dead whale nearly every day. Something is happening there and it needs to be investigated.”


 – Homero Aridjis, Head, Group of One Hundred

A gray whale in Gulf of California, courtesy Natural Resources Defense Council.
A gray whale in Gulf of California, courtesy Natural Resources Defense Council.


February 20, 2006  Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), Mexico – Authorities report that beginning perhaps back in November 2005, eight whales of varying plankton-eating species died of unknown causes. The first two bodies were humpback whales which were found on January 18, 2006, washed up on Mexican beaches along the State of Sinaloa (Culiacan is capital) in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). Other dead species have included a baby gray whale, a fin whale and a minke whale.The badly decomposed carcasses so far have not shown signs of disease, toxic spill, algae bloom, or the cuts of fishing nets. “It’s a mystery,” Luis Fueyo, an assistant federal prosecutor for environmental crimes, told The New York Times.

Whales, dolphins and turtle found dead on beaches of Sinaloa State, Mexico. Culiacan is capital. Gulf of California and Sea of Cortez are names for same body of water.
Whales, dolphins and turtle found dead on beaches of Sinaloa State, Mexico. Culiacan is capital. Gulf of California and Sea of Cortez are names for same body of water.

Also reported dead in the same Sinaloa coastal region have been two dolphins and an olive ridley sea turtle. “I’m worried. We are just starting the year and already we seem to see a dead whale nearly every day. Something is happening there and it needs to be investigated,”  said Homero Aridjis, who directs the environmental efforts of Group of One Hundred.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Image courtesy NOAA.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Image courtesy NOAA.

More Information:

For more information about whales and declining marine populations, please see the following reports in Earthfiles Archives :

  • 09/29/2005 — 2005 Arctic Summer Ice Melt – Largest On Record
  • 08/05/2005 — Scientists Puzzled by “Bizarre” Pacific Coast Die-offs in 2005
  • 05/11/2005 — Greenland Sea Cold Water Re-Cycling Has Nearly Stopped. Britain Expected to Cool
  • 01/22/2005 — From U. S. to Arctic – A Sea Change in the Weather
  • 11/02/2004 — North Pole Summers Without Ice?
  • 08/14/2004 — Oceans Are Absorbing Greenhouse CO2. As Chemistry Changes, What Happens to Sea Life?
  • 08/01/2004 — Sixth Straight Year Hundreds of Birds Die at Roestler Lake, North Dakota.
  • 11/29/2003 — Glaciers Are Melting Around the World So Fast That Water Supplies Could Be Threatened
  • 05/17/2003 — Major Study Reports Only 10% of Large Ocean Fish Remain
  • 07/20/2002 — Extinctions of Earth Life Are Accelerating Rapidly
  • 06/30/2002 — The “Bloop” Sound in the Ocean
  • 06/04/2002 — EPA Admits Humans Burning Fossil Fuels A Big Factor in Global Warming
  • 04/01/2002 — Scientists Investigate Dark Coastal Waters of Southwest Florida
  • 01/05/2002 — Could Increasing Carbon Dioxide Gas Be Transformed Into Limestone?
  • 12/22/2001 — Scientists Warn That Climate and Earth Life Can Change Rapidly
  • 03/04/2001 — Disappearing Glaciers – Evidence of A Rapidly Warming Earth
  • 02/18/2001 — Environmental Updates and Mysterious Deaths of 2000 Atlantic Brant Geese
  • 02/07/2001 — 94% Decline In Aleutian Islands Sea Otter Population
  • 01/28/2001 — U. N. Global Warming Forecast: Up to 10.5 Degrees F. Hotter At End of 21st Century
  • 10/22/2000 — Mysterious Shark Deaths Near Panama City, Florida
  • 09/10/2000 — Arctic Ice Melt Threatens Polar Bears
  • 11/18/1999 — Short Environmental Updates
  • 07/25/1999 — Maryland Fish Kills; Global Warming; and Warm Oceans and Disease
  • 06/08/1999 — Increased Gray Whale Deaths in Spring 1999
  • 02/28/1999 — Chickadee Beak Deformities in Alaska

Websites:

Save Whales: http://www.savethewhales.org/

NOAA Marine Fisheries: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov

Marine Mammal Strandings: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/networks.htm


© 1998 - 2018 by Linda Moulton Howe.
All Rights Reserved.