Dead whale found in Oakland Estuary

A dead whale was found floating in the Oakland Estuary Wednesday morning, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The U.S. Coast Guard notified the fisheries service of a stranded whale floating in the waters between Alameda and Oakland at about 4:30 a.m., according to Justin Viezbicke, the fisheries service’s California stranding network coordinator.

The whale was found in the waters off Alameda across from Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Researchers have been unable so far to determine what kind of whale it is or even how big it is, Viezbicke said. They are looking at options to pull the whale from the water for study, but such an operation would be expensive and difficult.

If possible, they would try to determine how the whale died, particularly since it was found in an area where there are numerous ways it could have died, including being struck by a ship, Viezbicke said.

The dead whale is the latest of several that have turned up in the Bay Area, including three found on the shores of Pacifica since April.

However, it is the first reported in the Bay itself this year.