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Whale Strandings & Deaths Heartbreaking, Not Unusual

Marine life officials along the coast say all the recent whale sightings and strandings aren't unusual.

Spring is the busiest season for marine officials as big whales and smaller whales are spotted or wash up along our shores.

Keith Rittmaster, natural science curator at the Maritime Museum says what we're seeing with the recent whales washing ashore and others getting stranded is typical for this time of year. He says North Carolina gets about 140 to 150 marine strandings a year.

The deaths can be caused by boats, entanglement in fishing lines and plastic trash left behind.

Vicky Thayer, NC Marine Mammal Stranding coordinator says the reason it seems as if we've had more whale strandings than usual this year is because of technology. "There may be an increase of awareness now because of our technology now so people are talking more and we are more aware."

There have been 20 strandings in NC so far this year...four whales, two seals, two porpoises and the rest dolphins.

While the strandings may not be unusual, marine officials say what we are seeing now is still heartbreaking.


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