Toxic Algae Caused Right Whale Deaths

Deaths of the endangered right whales, mostly young calves, leapt 10-fold from 2005 to 2014. No one knew why until possibly now. Scientists have identified blooms of toxic algae as a probable cause if these deaths.  Click here to read an article on these recent findings.


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  1. Geir Rasmussen

    The whale deaths are caused by naturally occurring algae that produce a strong neurotoxin called domoic acid. When concentrations of the algae Pseudo-nitzschia were high, the more young whales died; and conversely, when the algae density dropped, so did the number of deaths.
    It will be interesting to see how long it takes for environmental NGO’s – such as Oceana – to admit that these are indeed natural deaths and that they have nothing to do with Shipping or Seismic Acquisition. Environmental NGO’s have a track record of feeding social media with false narratives about the impact of Shipping and Seismic on the health of whale populations. Indeed, NOAA Fisheries, the agency charged by the US Congress to administer the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and which is the US authority on the science behind these matters, stated in a 2012 public filing regarding seismic surveys, “To date, there is no evidence that injury, death or stranding by marine mammals can occur from exposure to air-gun pulses, even in the case of large air-gun arrays”. Furthermore, the US National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council stated: “No scientific studies have conclusively demonstrated a link between exposure to sound and adverse effects on a marine mammal populations”.

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