Over a dozen whales have washed up dead on Bay Area beaches recently, causing concern among marine conservationists. (Courtesy of Marine Mammal Center)

Over a dozen whales have washed up dead on Bay Area beaches recently, causing concern among marine conservationists. (Courtesy of Marine Mammal Center)

Wake to mark recent rash of Bay Area whale deaths

A wake to mark the deaths of a dozen whales that have washed up on Bay Area shores this year will be held Tuesday morning at Crissy Field in San Francisco.

Conservation groups organizing the “Wake for the Whales” are calling for greater protections against ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and climate change.

“Dead whales washing up on Bay Area beaches is a wake-up call. We’ll honor the dead, celebrate whales’ essential role in healthy oceans and urge our representatives to better protect these amazing creatures,” said Stephanie Prufer, an oceans program organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Ship speed limits save whales’ lives and rope-free fishing technology should replace crab lines along California’s coast, Prufer said.

“And we understand how climate change threatens whales, even as whales sequester carbon and are part of the climate change solution,” Prufer said.

The event coincides with World Ocean Day, June 8, and will be livestreamed on Facebook at http://biodiv.us/whale-wake.

The event is set for 11 a.m. at Crissy Field East Beach, near the intersection of Jauss and Javowitz streets.

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