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Whale Stranding Press Materials

2023 Whale Strandings

7 gray whales
3 suspected vessel strikes, 4 undetermined cause of death

1 humpback whale
1 undetermined cause of death

Full List of Strandings

 

For more information or to set up an interview on this topic, please contact us at media@tmmc.org.

whale stranding map 2023

Recent Press Releases

Whale Response Data 2019-2023

2023 Whale Responses

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7 gray whales
3 suspected vessel strikes, 4 undetermined cause of death

1 humpback whale
1 undetermined cause of death


November 10, 2023: yearling male gray whale, Martinez, Contra Costa County; cause of death: undetermined

September 18, 2023: humpback whale, Wildcat Beach, Marin County; cause of death: undetermined

June 21, 2023: adult male gray whale, Bodega Head, Sonoma County; cause of death: undetermined, and no necropsy performed due to inaccessible location

June 18, 2023: adult female gray whale, Kelham Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore; cause of death: undetermined, and limited necropsy performed by the California Academy of Sciences

May 7, 2023: adult male gray whale, Agate Beach, Bolinas; cause of death: unable to determine

May 7, 2023: adult male gray whale, North Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore; cause of death: suspected vessel strike

March 23, 2023: subadult male gray whale, Bolinas Beach, Bolinas; cause of death: suspected vessel strike

April 8, 2023: juvenile male gray whale, San Leandro Marina, San Leandro; cause of death: vessel strike

2022 Whale Responses

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7 gray whales, 3 humpback whales
Necropsy findings: 1 malnutrition, 1 suspect orca predation, 4 vessel strikes, 4 undetermined


March 5, 2022: adult female gray whale, Limantour Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore; cause of death: malnutrition 

April 4, 2022: subadult female gray whale, Muir Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area; cause of death: vessel strike 

April 5, 2022: adult male gray whale, Alameda; cause of death: unknown, only limited samples taken and no necropsy performed 

April 29, 2022: adult male gray whale, Rockaway Beach, Pacifica; cause of death: vessel strike

May 13, 2022: adult female gray whale, Fort Funston, San Francisco; cause of death: vessel strike

May 20, 2022: adult male gray whale, Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, Mountain View; cause of death: unknown, only limited samples taken and no necropsy performed 

June 19, 2022: adult male gray whale, Slide Ranch, Marin County, cause of death: unknown, only limited samples taken and no necropsy performed 

July 14, 2022: humpback whale, North Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, cause of death: undetermined 

July 17, 2022: subadult female humpback whale, Sharp Park, Pacifica, cause of death: suspect orca predation 

August 28, 2022: adult female humpback whale, Manhattan Beach, Half Moon Bay, cause of death: veseel strike

2021 Whale Responses

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15 gray whales, 2 pygmy sperm whales, 2 fin whales, 1 humpback whale
Necropsy findings: 2 vessel strike, 2 suspected vessel strike, 17 undetermined


February 20, 2021: adult female pygmy sperm whale (pregnant); North Salmon Creek Beach (Point Reyes National Seashore); Cause of death: undetermined

April 1, 2021: adult female gray whale; Angel Island State Park via San Francisco Bay (Crissy Field); Cause of death: undetermined

April 3, 2021: adult female gray whale; Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, San Mateo County; Cause of death: suspected vessel strike

April 8, 2021: subadult male gray whale; Angel Island State Park via San Francisco Bay (Berkeley Marina); Cause of death: undetermined

April 8, 2021: adult female gray whale; Muir Beach; Cause of death: vessel strike

April 24, 2021: juvenile male fin whale; Fort Funston (San Francisco) now at Thornton Beach in Daly City; Cause of death: suspected vessel strike

April 27, 2021: gray whale; Keil Cove (Tiburon) now currently at Kirby Cove/Lime Point (Sausalito); Cause of death: undermined (no necropsy performed, only samples taken)

May 3, 2021: gray whale; Port of Oakland; Cause of death: undetermined (no necropsy performed due to inaccessible location underneath pier)

May 4, 2021: gray whale; Angel Island State Park; Cause of death: undetermined

May 11, 2021: gray whale; Francis State Beach; Cause of death: undetermined (no necropsy performed due to state of decomposition)

May 12, 2021: gray whale; Poplar Beach; Cause of death: undetermined (no necropsy performed due to state of decomposition)

May 14, 2021: subadult male gray whale, Agate Beach (Bolinas); cause of death: vessel strike

May 23, 2021: male gray whale, Angel Island State Park; cause of death: undermined (no necropsy performed, only samples taken)

May 26, 2021: male gray whale, Tennessee Valley Beach; cause of death: undetermined (no necropsy performed due to inaccessible location)

May 28, 2021: gray whale, Point Bonita, rewashed ashore at Rodeo Beach on 6/3; cause of death: undetermined

June 20, 2021: fin whale; Mavericks Beach, San Mateo County; cause of death: (no necropsy performed, partial whale in decomposed pieces, only samples taken by Cal Academy)

June 21, 2021: adult female gray whale; Ocean Beach; cause of death: undetermined

August 3, 2021: adult female gray whale; McClures Beach Point Reyes National Seashore; cause of death: undetermined

September 5, 2021: juvenile female humpback whale, South Beach Point Reyes National Seashore; cause of death: undetermined

November 3, 2021: adult female pygmy sperm whale; San Gregorio State Beach, San Mateo County; cause of death: undetermined

2020 Whale Responses

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5 gray whales, 2 humpback whales
Necropsy findings: 6 undetermined, 1 entanglement


March 30, 2020: Gray whale; San Francisco Bay (Angel Island); Cause of death: undetermined (full necropsy, suspected orca predation)

April 5, 2020: Gray whale; Pacifica; Cause of death: undetermined (partial necropsy)

April 15, 2020: Gray whale; Point Arena; Cause of death: undetermined (partial necropsy)

April 20, 2020: Gray whale; Brooks Island (Richmond); Cause of death: undetermined (partial necropsy)

April 21, 2020: Humpback whale; San Francisco (Baker Beach); Cause of death: undetermined (partial necropsy)

May 9, 2020: Gray Whale, Chevron Long Wharf (Richmond); Cause of death: undetermined (partial necropsy)

June 14, 2020: Humpback Whale, South Beach PRNS; Cause of death: crab gear entanglement (partial necropsy)

2019 Whale Responses

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14 gray whales, 3 humpback whales
Necropsy findings: 6 malnutrition, 6 vessel strike, 1 entanglement, 3 undetermined


March 10, 2019: Gray whale; San Francisco Bay (Angel Island); Cause of death: malnutrition

March 11, 2019: Gray whale; San Francisco Bay (Angel Island); Cause of death: malnutrition

April 02, 2019: Gray whale; Rodeo (Angel Island); Cause of death: malnutrition

April 10, 2019: Gray whale; San Mateo; Cause of death: vessel strike

April 13, 2019: Gray whale; Richmond (Angel Island); Cause of death: suspected vessel strike

April 13, 2019: Gray whale; Hercules (Angel Island); Cause of death: malnutrition

April 16, 2019: Gray whale; Pacifica; Cause of death: vessel strike

April 30, 2019: Gray whale; Point Reyes National Seashore; vessel strike (propeller) 

May 6, 2019: Gray whale; San Francisco (Ocean Beach); Cause of death: vessel strike

May 6, 2019: Gray whale; Rodeo (Angel Island); Cause of death: suspected malnutrition

May 12, 2019: Gray whale; San Francisco Pier 30/32 (Pacifica); Cause of death: undetermined 

May 20, 2019: Gray whale; San Francisco Bay (Angel Island); Cause of death: malnutrition 

May 23, 2019: Gray whale; Point Reyes National Seashore; Cause of death: undetermined (***full necropsy not performed)

July 21, 2019: Humpback whale; Point Reyes National Seashore; Cause of death: probable vessel strike

October 23, 2019: Humpback whale; Eureka; Cause of death: crab fisheries entanglement (stranded alive) 

November 5, 2019: Humpback whale; Eureka; Cause of death: undetermined 

December 31, 2019: Gray whale; Manchester; Cause of death: undetermined

The Center is a leading organization studying whales that have washed ashore in California, leading to a robust collection of data and tissue samples that is shared with researchers around the world.

Our experts are helping to identify trends such as changes to the ocean environment that could cause a population-wide threat for marine mammal species or threats to human health.

Over the last four decades, we have responded to more than 700 whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings. These responses include live strandings and entanglements as well as animals that have washed ashore post-mortem.

The Center is the primary responder for live whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings along 600 miles of the central and northern California coastline, although live whale strandings, in particular, are relatively rare. 

The Center typically responds to five to six whales per year, mostly in the spring months during migration season. But in years of unusual mortality events, known as UMEs, this number can increase significantly.

Learn more

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Whale Stranding in the News

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