The first week of January 2016 has seen an increase in the deaths of common murres washing up dead on the beaches of Alaska...
Alaska dispatch news are reporting thousands of dead common murres are washing up on the beaches of Whittier, an unprecedented die-off that has scientists wondering how many more thousands remain uncounted throughout Prince William Sound.
A retired biologist doing a survey in Whittier over the weekend said he witnessed nealy 10,000 dead murres along a mile stretch of the beach there, which is more than five birds per meter officials say.
The scale of the die off along the sound is said to be unprecedented locals say and mind-boggling.
The beach survey probably signifies the real count is probably tens of thousands of the little black and white sea birds officials say.
The recent discovery of the Prince William Sound die-off follows a highly unusual and sudden influx of disoriented, starving murres getting stranded inland over the past few weeks, a phenomenon that began in early spring but spiked in late December.
Residents of Kodiak Island, Alaska have been reporting a large number of common murres washing up dead on local beaches since last April.
The small black and white seabird usually establish breeding colonies on the Alaska Peninsula and in the Aleutian Islands See here.
And then just last month a report claimed Common Murres were dying off by the thousands from Alaska to California
They've also had reports of some dead tufted puffins, horned puffins and an ancient murrelet. See here
The dying murres are of course only a small part of a west coast echo system which appears to be on melt down with Whales, fur seals, sea otters, walrus, dolphins, birds, fish, mussels and starfish, all dying in catastrophic numbers along the coast from Mexico to Alaska.
Last month, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution released a report showing higher levels of Cesium-134, the so called finger of Fukushima have been detected off the US west coast. Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation coming across the Pacific to the west coast of the US from the stricken nuclear plant Fukushima have reported finding increased levels of radiation along the coast from Alaska, Canada and all the way down to southern California.
This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco. The level of radioactive cesium isotopes in the sample, 11 Becquerel’s per cubic meter of seawater (about 264 gallons), is 50 percent higher than other samples collected along the West Coast so far, see here Government funded scientist claims higher levels of Fukushima Cesium detected off the US coast