Third Dead Whale in A Week Washes Ashore at San Francisco Bay – Guess Why?

June 14, 2018

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The 5th dead whale that washed ashore in San Francisco Bay Area since March was recently found at Bolinas Beach in Marin County. According to the ABC 7 News, The Marine Mammal Center will be doing a necropsy on the whale to determine the cause of death. Frighteningly, this is the third whale that washed ashore in the area in a week.

Furthermore, they mention that scientists stated two whales found last week in the area were killed due to human-caused injuries. “The Marine Mammal Center said a ship hit a 45-long fin whale that was found May 18 near Oakland. A necropsy found the juvenile female had broken bones and massive hemorrhaging” reports ABC 7 News.

Photo: Marjorie Cox / Marine Mammal Center

Previous news on NBC Bay Area about another 44-foot grey whale that washed up on Angel Island (in San Francisco Bay) says that the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma consistent with a vessel collision by the Marine Mammal Center and the California Academy of Sciences.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. According to The Mercury News “Every year, an estimated 18 blue whales, 22 humpback whales and 43 fin whales — all endangered species — perish off California, Oregon and Washington after being hit by ships.” Terrible as it sounds, it gets even worse given the fact that these deaths include endangered whales.

Researchers argue that new rules for ships such as reducing speed and changing lanes like the ones that are applied on the East Coast will be effective to reduce deaths.  However, these measures can increase sailing time costs, which can bring resistance from the shipping industry.

Thank you for reading, see you in a future post!



Published on June 14th, 2018

Last updated on April 1st, 2021