Sleeper sharks are already known to range as far north as the Chukchi Sea, but reports of possible shark attacks on seal and sea lions have increased — and now come from further into the Arctic.
East Island, a strip of gravel and sand northwest of Honolulu, "appears to be under water" after Hurricane Walaka surged past Hawaii, officials said.
Around 60 ice seals have been reported dead across northern and western Alaska this month.
The cause of the strandings and deaths is not known.
The extraordinary sight of a 30-foot long dead humpback whale that washed up on a beach area in Anchorage.
The ice conditions are similar to last year (with) lots of young ice and close leads," said Captain Frederick Brower. "We all went out and broke trail to the edge, but a high west wind came along and added about three-quarters to 1 mile of ice and (we) had to break trail through that and began whaling from the new edge ... . The conditions were not favorable but we made due with what we had and continued on with our whaling season."
Vitamin D deficiencies have long been a concern in high latitudes because sunlight — which stimulates its production in the body — is scarce in winter months.
It's been a challenging year for whalers in Utqiagvik. Crews started going out in September, but found the bowheads weren't appearing in their usual concentrations in the waters closer to shore. On the water Nov. 16 Panigiuq Crew landed the first whale of the season for Utqiagvik, later than many people can remember ever bringing one in before.
Technology has changed, communities have moved, people have grown older, and the beluga whales the Kanigmiut have relied on for generations have all but disappeared.
The Arctic Sounder - Serving the Northwest Arctic and the North Slope
The two men, who were both part of an active whaling crew, were in one of the boats on a towline, towing a whale to shore, when their boat flipped, according to fellow whalers who were there when it happened.
The animals didn't necessarily become sick, researchers said, but were encountering the new pathogens much more frequently.
This comes just days after other reports of about 60 dead ice seals found from Kotlik to Kotzebue and Kivalina to Point Hope.
Recent heavy snowfall and large drifts have created ideal conditions for the dens where the endangered Saimaa ringed seal raise their young, and a record number of pups may be born this year. The freshwater Saimaa ringed seal is one of the most endangered seal species in the world.
The open ocean off Utqiagvik in fall and early winter is evidence of climate change. Remarkably, bowhead whales appear to be thriving, although there are new challenges. Kidney-worm infections have been detected in bowheads, possibly brought by other species of whales coming north. And then there are the killer whales, a natural predators of bowheads now venturing north.
Dozens of walruses were found dead earlier this month at their seasonal haulout near Point Lay. The findings came just about a day after locals said they saw an airplane they believed to be flying inappropriately over the herd, which comes to shore each year once the sea ice recedes past the continental shelf and it becomes too deep for them to feed.
But an Icelandic whale-watching crew spotted the right whale named Mogul three times this week, leaving a research scientist wondering why the animal ventured so far.
That's right, California sea lions. As populations of native Steller sea lions decline, Maniscalco says a growing number of California sea lions are showing up on Steller sea lion rookeries and haul-outs across the state. According to his research, some 33 sightings have been recorded. And some of those California sea lions have made their way as far west as the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.