News World Alaskans find more dead seals along warming Arctic Sea

Alaskans find more dead seals along warming Arctic Sea

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

The dead seals – 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 spokeswoman for NOAA Fisheries.

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

There is almost no ice left in the Bering Sea, and the summer melt has been at least three weeks ahead of normal, while melt in the Chukchi Sea is about a month ahead of normal, according to Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Sea-surface temperatures along the coastlines of the Bering Sea and the southern Chukchi Sea were as much as 4.5 degrees Celsius (8.1 Fahrenheit) above normal last month and remained well above normal as of this week, according to NOAA data.

Bearded, spotted and ringed seals use sea ice as platforms for food foraging, for resting and for raising their young. Alaska‘s bearded and ringed seals are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The reports of dead seals, which started in May and come from village residents and a National Park Service biologist, coincide with mounting discoveries of dead gray whales along the West Coast from California to Alaska.

The whale die-off has been designated as an “unusual mortality event,” a classification that authorizes a special investigation.

Speegle said it is unclear whether the seal and whale die-offs are connected.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

One more tests positive to Coronavirus

One more person has tested positive for coronavirus after 942 tests, the Health Ministry said on Monday, raising the total in Cyprus to 1,022. The...

Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britain's 5G network in a landmark decision that will anger Beijing but win plaudits from President...

‘Views of the World’ animation festival returns to Salamiou

Countryside Animafest Cyprus, the island's official animation event that aims to showcase animation films from around the world has announced its 19th edition that...

MoH extends testing programme for employees in phase 2 and 3 of lockdown exit

The Health Ministry said on Monday it has extended to August 12 the programme to test a total of 10,000 employees who returned to...

Britain offers fast-track visas for foreign health workers

Britain's new immigration system will provide faster and cheaper visas for skilled health and social care workers, the government announced on Monday, setting out...

Taste

Halloumi cheese fingers

Ingredients Serves: 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 175g (6 oz) halloumi cheese, cut into sticks 1 dessertspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Prep:5min ›...

Koupes (cracked wheat pies) with mushrooms

Ingredients: For the dough: 1½ cup bulgur wheat 2 cups water 1 tsp. salt For the filling: 250gr. mushrooms, finely chopped ½ cup of olive oil 2 big onions, coarsely chopped 1...

Fried zucchini balls with halloumi

Ingredients: 6 medium zucchinis (approximately 1kg) 1 small onion, grated 1 large halloumi (about 250gr.), grated ½ cup simple flour 2 tsps. fine lemon zest 2 big eggs 1 tbsp. fresh...

Rocket salad

Ingredients: 4 cups rocket leaves, rinsed and dried 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup pomegranate seeds 1 red bell pepper ½ cup croutons 2-3 light cheese slices (grated) salt ½ of a...