Cetacean stranding response in Washington with special attention to gray whales and harbor porpoise
Calambokidis, J., J. Huggins, S. Jefferies, D. Lambourn. 2008. Cetacean stranding response in Washington with special attention to gray whales and harbor porpoise. Final report for Prescott Grant NA04NMF4390016 prepared by Cascadia Research for the National Marine Fisheries Service. March 2008.
Cascadia responded to 81 cetacean strandings of at least 11 species during the grant period. These documented the post UME rate of mortality in gray whales which showed low levels of mortality in the years immediately following a major mortality event in 1999-2000 but which was slightly elevated above average in 2005 and 2006. We documented a continued occurrence of fin whale mortalities related to ship strikes. An Unusual Mortality Event of harbor porpoise was documented during the grant period and has continued through the end of the grant. Contaminant analyses revealed higher levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons in odontocetes compared to baleen whales and were generally highest in harbor porpoise although these are not implicated as a cause of the UME.