Maine/NH/Massachusetts Alert: watch for marine organism die-offs!

6 10 2011

Minke whale: a specimen of this species has been reported dead off the shores of Beverly, MA.

Judy Kleindinst, who works at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, got in touch with SEANET this week asking if we had gotten any reports of unusual seabird mortality on our beaches. It seems that dead seals began turning up along New Hampshire’s coast last week. Sketchy reports of gull and cormorant mortalities had also come in from southern Maine through northern Massachusetts, and a dead Minke Whale was reported off the coast of Beverly, on Massachusetts’ north shore. Mortality affecting such a wide variety of organisms tends to raise the possibility of a harmful algal bloom, or HAB, sometimes referred to as red tides. Woods Hole will be sampling area waters to see if any such event is occurring.

Seanetters have not detected unusual numbers of carcasses during formal walks this past week, and I have received no informal alarm calls either, but please get in touch if you see anything strange out there, whether you’re on a survey or not, and whether you’re an official Seanetter or not!

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