Dozens of whales are mysteriously dying off the coast of Alaska

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Dozens Of Whales Are Mysteriously Dying Off The Coast Of Alaska

Whales are dying off the coast of Alaska in increasingly alarming numbers. What's worse is the deaths are still a mystery.

Beginning in May, multiple endangered fin whales were discovered floating lifelessly near Kodiak, Alaska.

SEE MORE: Watch this whale covered in plastic bags approach a fisherman for help

Since then, 30 whales have been found dead—including 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one grey whale and four that are yet to be identified.

See images of the whales in Alaska:
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Dozens of whales are mysteriously dying off the coast of Alaska
This June 5, 2015 photos provided by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, shows a fin whale carcass found on Whale Island, Alaska in the Kodiak Archipelago. A federal agency announced plans Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, for a more intense investigation into what caused the deaths of many large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska since May. (Dr. Bree Witteveen/Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program via AP)
This May 22, 2015 photo provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shows a fin whale calf off Marmot Bay in Kodiak Island, Alaska. A federal agency announced plans Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, for a more intense investigation into what caused the deaths of many large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska since May. (Rob Baer/Alaska Department of Fish and Game via AP)
(Photo via NOAA)
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The outsized number of die-offs, nearly three times the historical average for the region, has prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an "unusual mortality event."

Such a declaration allows the agency to respond forcefully to the deaths by developing a thorough response plan and scientific investigation in conjunction with federal, state and tribal officials. The designation also frees up extra funds and allows the agency to hire experts for a select working group.

Unusual mortality events are specific to marine mammal populations and the last was declared in 2013.
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