Mary Pemberton

Despite slight increase, Cook Inlet belugas ‘are not recovering’

ANCHORAGE — The beluga whales that swim in Cook Inlet are continuing to struggle and appear headed for extinction if nothing changes, a government official said Friday.

A survey done in June found the whales “are not recovering,” said Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We don’t know why.”

Cook Inlet belugas, considered genetically distinct, have been struggling and in decline for years.

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