Overseas Network, June 15 (NOAA) Fisheries Department officials said that at least 60 dead seals were found along the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Some of the dead seals have lost their hair, but it is not clear whether this is due to natural breakdown or abnormal molting. In response, the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, filed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of failing to protect seals’habitats.
According to the Associated Press and local television station KTVA, a hunter from Kotlek, Alaska, found 19 seals on the coast 11 miles north of Kotlek, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. In addition, the hunter pointed out that dozens of seals were still dead off the coast of Stewart Island north of Stebbins.
Alaskan aborigines used to hunt seals for their livelihood, and they were used as food in many places. Some local hunters expressed concern about the current situation and said the seals were unusually thin this year.
At present, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States is working with Alaska marine mammal authorities to take photographs and autopsy as many seals as possible to investigate the specific reasons.
The US Biodiversity Center, an environmental group, sued the US government Wednesday for failing to protect the key habitats of two species of seals, the ringed seal and the bearded seal, that live on the northwest coast of Alaska. The defendants were the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Fisheries Department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Previously, abnormal animal deaths occurred in the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea between 2011 and 2016. At that time, a large number of seals and walruses were sick or dead. It is estimated that more than 650 seals were affected during that period, of which 233 died.
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