NOAA said it received multiple reports of dead ice seals in southwest Norton Sound on Monday, including from a hunter who counted 18 seal carcasses along 11 miles of shore and dozens more on the coast of Stuart Island, Alaska
] NOAA Fisheries is working with its partners in the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network to photograph and perform necropsies on the animals, NOAA said in a news release.
Some of the dead seals were reported to have lost hair, NOAA said. the agency also has received reports that the seals are unusually thin this year, it said.
More examination needs to be determined if the hair loss is part of decomposition or abnormal molting.
Abnormal molting symptoms were present in the 2011-2016 Unusual Morta lity Event, which impacted at least 657 ice seals in northern and western Alaska.