NewsWarship enters port with dead whale-cow and her calf...

Warship enters port with dead whale-cow and her calf – trapped under the hull

An Australian warship arrives in San Diego Bay with an unusual cargo. Two dead fin whales that seem to be stuck to the ship’s hull like magnets. The Navy is concerned and promises to be more mindful.

San Diego – Sea creatures who perish in a collision with ship engines or get tangled in the drive technology on the underside of the ship’s hull are not uncommon. But the animal cargo that an Australian warship accidentally carried with it when it entered San Diego Bay in mid-May amazed experts, if only because of its size. Because on the front part of the hull, the bow, hung two fin whales – both dead.

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration , the larger carcass belonged to an adult female around 20 meters long and the other to a suspected calf around 7.5 meters long. Presumably, the two mammals wrapped themselves around the bow of the ship after their collision and were held in place by the pressure during the entire voyage, but below the waterline and therefore invisible to the crew.

For many marine mammals, shipping is a danger to their lives

If the whales do not die in the process, as soon as the ship approaches a port and slows down its speed, they would simply fall off and swim back into the open sea. In the case of the 146-meter-long warship that has been in the waters around Southern California * since April to carry out exercises with the US Navy, the story turned out differently. “The Navy takes marine mammal safety very seriously. We are saddened by this incident, ”announced the Australian Navy.

Soldiers finally tied the whales to the edge of the harbor basin of the naval base to prevent the marine mammals from drifting into the shipping traffic. Scientists from the marine fishery NOAA are said to have taken skin and blood samples from them, which are currently being examined, according to a report in the LA Times. The test results are intended to provide information as to whether the whales are actually a mother and her calf, and the sex of the calf has yet to be determined.

Whales are particularly prone to collisions with ships

According to several media reports, the larger whale was dragged out to sea by boat, and the smaller whale was taken to an organic garbage dump * in California for composting because its body was already so damaged that it was feared that it was already in the harbor basin could disintegrate into its individual parts.

Fin whales, the second largest whale species, and their larger relatives, the blue whales, appear to be particularly vulnerable to ship attacks because they hardly react to the approach of the ocean liners. “They neither change their speed nor their direction of travel, and only in a few cases did they change their diving behavior,” quoted the LA Times as quoting marine biologist John Calambokidis.

Both fin and blue whales are common in shipping lanes and spend much of their time on the surface, especially at night, according to Calambokidis. But how can you prevent fish and ship from getting in each other’s way in the future?

NOAA employees are promoting the combination of science and technology, which, for example, can transmit real-time information about the population density of animals. There is also a need for closer cooperation with the naval officers. There are still around 50 whale collisions per year, although the number of unreported cases is likely to be significantly higher. * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

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