Saturday, October 31, 2009

72 foot Female Blue Whale killed neared Ft. Bragg.

I am surprised there has been so little press on this subject.

NOAA Contract Boat Kills Blue Whale Off Fort Bragg
Fishermen, Enviros Call for Independent Investigation

By Dan Bacher

Environmentalists and fishermen on California’s North Coast are calling for an independent investigation into the killing of an endangered blue whale off Fort Bragg by a mapping survey boat contracted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The 72-foot female blue whale, a new mother, perished on Monday, October 19, after being hit by the 78-foot Pacific Star, under contract to NOAA to update maps of the ocean floor

Multibeam echo sounders (MBES), like other sonar systems, transmit sound energy and analyze the return signal (echo) that has bounced off the seafloor or other objects, according to NOAA's Office of Coast Survey. Multibeam sonars emit sound waves from directly beneath a ship's hull to produce fan-shaped coverage of the seafloor.

The National Geographic and other media outlets gushed that the Fort Bragg blue whale’s death provided a unique opportunity for scientists to study a whale.

The irony of a boat collecting data to protect marine life hitting a huge whale is something of an anomaly you would think. Nope. NOAA boats have hit 3 whales in the last 6 months! One off Massachusetts and another in Southern California. They should take one more person with them to look out for whales while they are searching for other fish!


AJ said...

Ya, I don't understand the press situation. I sent the BlogThing this National Geographic story (awesome photo) with nary a bite.

Jim said...

Wonder if the sonar has anything to do with attracting the whales

Anonymous said...

The NOAA should at least be forced to eat the damn thing, if not fined royally."You killed it, you eat it!"

samoasoftball said...

AJ: that is a good photo. Kind of weird spin by National Geographic.

Jim: that has been speculated.

Lodgepole: A 72ft Whale would feed many people!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why there wasn't more press, but its really sad, such a gorgeous big animal. A mamma maybe a grandma. Its also so sad to see it get chopped up, the way they did. I hope these...oh so smart and highly educated NOAA folks think of better ways to equip their boats to detect these huge animals b/c how you can miss them is beyond me and i don't understand how these animals would just swim towards boats propellor????

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