Gray whale necropsy performed in Ocean Park

The peninsula’s second deceased gray whale in the month of May came ashore south of Ocean Park beach approach over the weekend and has been necropsied by researchers. It isn’t uncommon for grays belonging to the abundant Eastern Pacific population to die of various natural causes, with a few being washed onshore rather than sinking. More than usual washed up in 2019, with scientists suspecting that they were weakening by poor nutritional conditions. Grays are filter feeders that rely on abundant microscopic plants and animals that they harvest from marine waters. No clear trend has emerged so far in 2020, although a large ocean heat wave — also known as a “Blob” — has recently formed offshore and could be degrading the food chain.

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