Of the approx 90 they examined about 40% had evidence of either ship strike or entanglements. Causes of whale deaths can be determined in only a fraction of cases, partly because of the difficulty of examining a whale that dies in the wild, from their huge size to the various states of decomposition that might have occurred. I see you posted a letter to NOAA - I would assume they have to respond to it at some point and hopefully we can will see that response.
Officials from NOAA and other agencies are pushing back on suggestions that wind farms might somehow be contributing to whale deaths.
"There are no known connections between any of this offshore wind activity and any whale stranding regardless of species," Benjamin Laws, deputy chief for the permits and conservation division at NOAA Fisheries, said in a briefing call.
The kind of equipment being used in the area isn't as problematic as projects such as marine oil and gas exploration, said Erica Staaterman, a bioacoustician at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Center for Marine Acoustics.
"Those in oil and gas are called seismic air guns, and they're specifically designed to penetrate kilometers into the seafloor. So they're very high energy, very loud sources," Staaterman said. In contrast, she added, the tools used to prepare for offshore wind sites are "high resolution geophysical sources, and they're typically smaller in the amount of acoustic energy they put into the water column."
"Many of them are used for very short periods of time with a long quiet time in between," Staaterman said, adding that some of the instruments also produce "a very narrow cone of sound," rather than blasting it in all directions.
"I just want to be unambiguous," Laws stated, "there is no information that would support any suggestion that any of the equipment that's being used in support of wind development [to perform surveys] could directly lead to the death of a whale."