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humpback whale

Feds designates critical whale habitat areas in Alaska and the West Coast

Apr 27, 2021

The National Marine Fisheries Service published a final rule designating critical habitat for three populations of humpback whales including some areas in Alaska. The federal ruling affects the eastern Aleutians, Kodiak, Prince William Sound, as well as the coastlines of Washington, Oregon, and California. The ruling excludes Bristol Bay and Southeast Alaska.

Over the past decade, federal officials have logged 77 incidents of vessels hitting whales in Alaska waters. About three-quarters of those, were endangered humpbacks. But, it’s not clear why those strikes keep happening. A group of federal researchers and marine pilots have teamed up to combine what scientists know about whale behavior with what marine pilots know about ships.

In death, beached Turnagain humpback offers clues, research samples and food

May 7, 2019

A humpback whale died after it beached in Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage near Girdwood. Biologists say it is an uncommon location for a humpback and they are now studying its death.

The whale became stranded twice early last week. It appeared to free itself but its body washed ashore Tuesday a few miles away from where it had first beached. Researchers carefully took measurements and samples, and subsistence users harvested blubber for food.