28 Apr '17, 2pm
Unusually high number of humpback whale deaths prompts NOAA inquiry
Scientists have said marine noise could be a factor in whale mortalities; the noise could disorient the animals and send them toward beaches where they become trapped. Military activities or offshore drilling or exploration can create marine noise. It’s not clear if that’s what’s happening with these mass deaths; NOAA marine resources manager Gregory Silber said he does not know of a link between marine noise and the recent strandings. He said ship traffic has not increased in the East Coast area; instead the whales could have followed prey like krill or small fish into regions with higher levels of ship activity.