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5th dead grey whale washes up on Haida Gwaii, DFO investigating

Courtesy: Tanya Alton.
Courtesy: Tanya Alton. Courtesy: Tanya Alton

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says a fifth grey whale has been found dead on British Columbia’s coast in what it describes as an “upward trend” from recent years.

Marine mammal coordinator Paul Cottrell is en route to Haida Gwaii where he and a provincial veterinarian will be conducting a necropsy on the latest whale that washed up on May 16.

READ MORE: Two grey whales rescued after getting beached in Boundary Bay

The department says in an email that it’s working closely with its American counterpart, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to determine if dozens of grey whale deaths in the United States are connected.

Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton
Courtesy: Tanya Alton

The Cascadia Research Collective says there have been 23 grey whales found dead along the Washington state coast since March 30.

READ MORE: Grey whale buried at B.C. dump exhumed, bones preserved for science

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It says six were adults and the majority showed signs of nutritional stress.

While these numbers are “far above normal” for the species, the research collective says the overall population has been doing well.