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Published on : Tuesday, May 31, 2016
An endangered young fin whale carcass was discovered at the port of Alaska on Sunday 29th May’16, when a cruise ship of Holland America was trying to dock at the port. The whale was found after 5 am near a beach beside Seward.
The body of the whale was struck in the bow of the cruise ship and was not discovered before the cruise entered the port. It was struck at the bulbous bow, which is the extension of the main bow. It is used to prevent making waves.
Julie Speegle, the spokesperson for the fisheries section of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration said that the carcass was towed to the beach and being struck on the bulbous bow might not be the result of a ship strike. She also considered the fact that the whale might have been dead already before it got caught by the ship.
“That’s something, hopefully, the necropsy will determine,” she added further more.
Scientists are speculating that the whale must have consumed something toxic but they are not yet sure, as the body has started to decompose already. The tissues of the whale would be tested for any presence of toxic materials.
Speegle informed, “We are taking samples for harmful algal blooms.”
Spokesperson for Holland America, Sally Andrews informed that the whale was not there in the bow even before half an hour of the discovery. She added that Holland America is saddened by the incident and they also have a comprehensive program to avoid this kind of incident. But the Cruise authority was not aware of the presence of whales in the area.
“Our ships have clear guidelines on how to operate if whales are sighted nearby, which include altering course and reducing speed as required,” Andrews said via e-mail.