Incidence of ship strikes of large whales in WA

Douglas, A.B., J. Calambokidis, S. Raverty, S.J. Jeffries, D.M. Lambourn
and S.A. Norman. 2008. Incidence of ship strikes of large whales in
Washington State. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the
United Kingdom. doi:10.1017/S0025315408000295, Published online by
Cambridge University Press 17 March 2008

ABSTRACT: Ship strikes of large whales cause mortalities worldwide, but
there is uncertainty regarding the frequency and species involved. We
examined 130 records (from 1980-2006) of large whale strandings in
Washington State. Nineteen strandings (seven species) had evidence of
ship-strikes. Fin whales Balaenoptera physalus had the highest incidence
of ante-mortem ship strike (five of seven, with the remaining two
possibly post-mortem) and all but one occurring since 2002. Six grey
whales Eschrichtius robustus suffered ‘possible ship strike’ injuries,
likely the result of their large numbers in the area, rather than high
levels of ship strikes. Only one possible ship-struck humpback whale was
recorded, despite concentrations of humpbacks feeding within shipping
lanes in this region. This study shows dramatic differences in
occurrences of ship-struck large whales by species, which we believe
results from a combination of species’ vulnerability to ship strikes,
and how likely a struck whale is to be caught up on the bow of a ship
and brought to waters where it can be examined.

Please contact the authors for a PDF of the article, or it can be
downloaded directly from the journals website:

~ by fredfelleman on April 3, 2008.

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