Dead Whale Discovered Belly-Up on Ship's Bow in Port of L.A.

By MarEx 2013-02-28 14:48:00

An endangered male fin whale was struck and killed by a container ship as it was heading into the Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The nearly 60-foot whale was discovered stuck on the bow of Evergreen container ship, the Ever Daity. It was spread belly-up with an indentation by its tail, and appeared to be recently killed.

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is investigating the incident, attempting to find out where along the ship's route the whale may have been struck.

The carcass will be towed back out to sea this week. Yesterday, the remains were towed out of the main channel area, into a maintenance yard, and covered with a black plastic tarp. The whale was just beginning to decompose, and officials noticed signs of blunt force trauma.

Ship strikes are a major concern of marine environmental protection organizations. According to the Contra Costa Times, shipping lanes are set to be altered this year to avoid three national marine sanctuaries off the California coast. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) implemented the changes because of concerns about ships hitting whales that feed in shipping lanes. The changes include shifting a two-mile buffer area around shipping lanes to one mile, and shifting the outside lane a mile inland.