Briefs: No conclusion in whale stranding study

March 30, 2006

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it cannot determine if Navy sonar caused 36 whales to become stranded on the North Carolina shore last year.

The stranding -- one of the largest in 20 years -- resulted in the deaths of the 36 whales. Navy ships had been using sonar in the area the day prior to the January 2005 strandings. Necropsies failed to show any connection, but did determine most of the whales were healthy, The Washington Post reported.

The Fisheries Service report indicated the animals included 33 pilot whales, two pygmy sperm whales and a minke whale. Strandings of more than one species at a time are rare, the newspaper noted.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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