from rocky – 11/21/2006
Creatures failed to turn up at their traditional North Pacific feeding grounds
Finding one 30-ton gray whale in the vast North Pacific might be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but finding 17,000 shouldn’t be. But that’s the situation researchers faced while searching for the creatures in their traditional summer feeding grounds last season—and the whales’ absence has them concerned.
"We’ve just come off a second summer in Canada in which we’ve had next to no whales show up," said William Megill of Bath University in the UK. "Not only in our little area, but apparently throughout the traditional feeding areas from Washington on up north. We have no idea where the whales all went this year."
Gray whales usually spend their summers feeding in the waters of the North Pacific, from northern California to the Bering and Chuckchi Seas, because these areas are rich in plankton. But lately these regions haven’t seemed to provide enough food for the whales.