Dead Gray Whales

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 12, 2019, provided by The Marine Mammal Center, a gray whale carcass is examined by experts from the center and its partners with the California Academy of Sciences at Angel Island State Park, Calif. Marine experts say two dead gray whales were found in the San Francisco Bay this week and that one of them died from severe malnutrition. The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said Thursday scientists were unable to determine a cause of death for the other whale. (Cara Field/The Marine Mammal Center via AP)

Los Angeles County Fire Lifeguard Division has reported a 20-foot gray whale carcass floating approximately 500 yards off shore near the southern end of Hermosa Beach, according to the city.

The National Marine Fishery Service has been contacted to determine next steps and LA County Lifeguards will continue to monitor the position of the whale and provide updates.

Researchers will most likely take blubber samples to determine the cause of the whale's demise, according to Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue. Then, lifeguards will tow the carcass out beyond the shipping lanes, about 18-20 miles out to sea, he said.

Wallerstein, who has made a 30-plus year career out of rescuing stranded and distressed marine life along the Southern California coast, said National Marine Fishery Service is investigating why so many marine mammals have washed ashore recently.

"I think there's been a total of 30 dolphins and whales all along the west coast," he said, adding that four dolphins have been beached in the last two weeks, in addition to a whale at Point Fermin in San Pedro.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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