Whale Struck By Ship; But is a Shark the Real Murderer?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on September 16, 2010 0 Comments

A 642-foot long Northern Vitality container ship came into the Port of Oakland this morning with a 20-30 foot whale carcass attached to it. Authorities are currently searching to see if the blue whale was killed by the ship or if it was already dead before it was struck.

Experts Divided on Cause of Death

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the whale body had teeth marks on it, indicating that sharks had been feeding on it prior to being hit by the ship. However, it’s position on the ship’s bow indicates that it was alive and swimming the waters before it was hit, leading the cause of death to the ship. Historically, when whales are hit on the ship’s bows, they have generally been alive and die when the ship rams into them.

Environmentalists in a Rage

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, “It’s not clear how often whales are struck by ships because the incidents are not always reported. The last two reported incidents in the Bay Area of ships fatally striking whales happened in Jan. 2008 and April 2006.”

With this whale being stuck, environmentalists are up in arms about the delicate balance between marine wildlife and the encroaching man made technologies. Are humans to blame for this mammal being killed or is just some collateral damage as mankind presses on in our pursuit of profits? Are environmentalists getting all bent out of shape over nothing? Could a tanker realistically have the capacity to deliberately aim and kill a whale?

In these modern times, the answer is a resounding no.

Manuel Rodriguez


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