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A fifth dead whale has been found around San Francisco Bay, AP reported. It’s the fifth such whale to the found in less than a month. The cause of death hasn’t been determined.

April is the start of the gray whale‘s northern migration. Finding dead whales is not uncommon but scientists were concerned with four were found in a span of nine days.

Source: KRON 4/YouTube

“It’s alarming to respond to four dead gray whales in just over a week because it really puts into perspective the current challenges faced by this species,” Dr. Pádraig Duignan, director of pathology at The Marine Mammal Center, said after the first four whales were found.

Whales migrate along the coast to winter in Mexico. They mate and give birth to calves in Baja California. Then they head back up the coast to feed and begin their migration to the Arctic.

Fishing gear entanglement, malnutrition, and trauma from ship strikes have been the most common reasons for dead whales in recent years.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Commerce departments have finalized a rule to protect Pacific ocean habitats used by humpback whales in April.

Read more about whales in One Green Planet, including the two beluga whales brought to a sanctuarymilitary sonar exercise linked to beached whaleshypersonic weapons testing affecting killer whalesover 100 beached whales saved by rescuers; whales, dolphins, and porpoises face the unprecedented risk of extinction;  and humpback whale trapped in fishing gear.

Sign this petition to tell Congress to take this unusual die-off seriously. Lawmakers must pass legislation to fight Climate change and reduce ocean Pollution from fishing, plastics, and other debris!

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