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'Unusually large number' of dead seals on Alaskan coast

Friday, June 14th 2019, 3:06 pm - On June 12, NOAA published a report stating that at least 60 ice seals had been found dead along Alaskan coasts between May and June.

At least 60 ice seals were reported dead along Alaska’s western coast in May and June, according to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

STORYFUL - dead seal Credit: Harold Okitkun/NOAA Fisheries via Storyful. This photo was said to have been taken north of Kotlik on May 7.

On June 10, a hunter counted 18 dead seals north of Kotlik and dozens of seal carcasses along the coast of Stuart Island, according to the NOAA report.

A biologist reported seeing six seal carcasses between Kotzebue Airport and Sadie Creek on the same day, and the NOAA received public reports of up to another 30 dead seals between Kivalina and Point Hope.

NOAA - seal 2 A dead seal found on a beach near Kotzebue, Alaska. Credit: NPS/Raime Fronstin.

"As ice seals are an essential resource for Alaska Native communities, food safety is a major concern," reads the report.

"NOAA is working to respond to concerns."

These photos were published in the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is currently investigating the cause behind what it called “unusually large numbers” of dead seals in the state.


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