A large number of environmental monitoring projects have been placed on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak halting invaluable ongoing research that could help protect marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.
Rescue teams around the world may now not be able to respond to whale strandings or incidents of entanglements in fishing gear.
In many cases the timing could not be worse. For example, Gray whales begin their northern migration along the Pacific Coast of the US at this time and scientific projects trying to discover reasons behind unusually heavy numbers of their deaths have now been put on hold.
Marine biologists and conservation groups spend this time of year keeping an eye on these Gray whales as they make their way to the Arctic from Mexico.
Last year, 215 Gray whales were stranded on North America's Pacific Coast as they migrated north, sparking a US federal investigation into this unusual die-off event.
This year, 49 have been stranded, so far, in Mexico.
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