In April 2015 a dead male orca stranded near Fort Bragg, California. In an article about the stranding, the Lost Coast Outpost referred to the rarity of finding dead orcas. “A 2013 study analyzing North Pacific killer-whale strandings back to 1925 noted that, “while orcas are some of the most widely distributed whales on Earth, very few dead ones are ever found.”
That 2013 study is our Spatial and temporal analysis of killer whale (Orcinus orca) strandings in the North Pacific Ocean and the benefits of a coordinated stranding response protocol, published in Marine Mammal Science.
Here’s the article: http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/apr/18/dead-killer-whale-mackerricher/
The orca was found with derelict crab gear wrapped around its tail.