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The starvation of the grey whale
...The phenomenon of skinny whales was first noticed earlier this year in the shallow San Ignacio Lagoon, where they over-winter while giving birth and then nurse their calves before setting out on their 6,000-mile journey back to the once-rich feeding grounds of the Bering Sea. It was in San Ignacio that a group of young American marine biologists led by Steven Swartz of the National Marine Fisheries Service noticed the telltale signs of malnutrition.
The skinny whales had arrived in Mexico after swimming from the far reaches of the Arctic Ocean. It is one of the world's most extraordinary environments, a place of wild untamed seas and thousands of miles of ice, that forms an ecosystem that few people know exists, and fewer still understand. But as the ice cap melts, something dramatic has happened to the food supply of the Arctic ecosystem.
From Mexico to the Arctic Circle, scientists are reporting an unusually high number of what can only be described as starving whales. The suspicion is that as Arctic ice recedes and the ocean waters rapidly warm, that the food supply that the whales depend on in the summer months is vanishing. Grey whales are enormous, great filter feeders which gorge themselves on tiny shrimp-size crustaceans in the summer months in order to build up reserves of blubber for their long southerly migration.