Incident Photo – Fin Whale Collision

Mike Schuler
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October 21, 2008

(Image courtesy: Press-Telegram)

NOAA ship strike reduction rule made major strides recently with its passing of a 10 knot speed limit for large vessels near various high traffic ports along the east coast, however, covering just one of our coasts with a speed limit is only half (at best) the battle.

This past weekend, a large container ship struck and killed a 48-foot fin whale while traversing a major shipping lane leading to the port of Long Beach.  With no knowledge to the captain, the vessel proceed to the port with the whale carcass slumped over its bow.

While the west coast doesn’t have the highly endangered right whale population of the east coast, large vessels pose the same threats to fin whales and blue whales.  Critics say that without a speed limit imposed, fatal collisions with blue and fin whales will continue to occur.

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