• Do you know what caused the death of this whale? So sad…I was just curious.


    • I am not a marine biologist nor expert in anything having to do with whales but I did grow up in Woods Hole (that’s a joke, I didn’t learn anything about whales except there are a lot of them out there.)

      From some studies done by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and National Marine Fishery scientists: Finback whales are the most common whale to be hit by ships. 30% of the known strandings of finbacks were caused by a ship strike. The side facing the ocean (the side in this photo) behind the port side flipper it looks like there are several streaks of black and red paint. That’s pretty common bottom paint on large ships. There are orange numbers written further aft on top of the whale but those were likely added by the marine scientists that measured the whale while it was stuck on George’s Island two weeks ago in Boston Harbor.

      So my guess is that the whale was hit in the shipping lanes east of Boston and it drifted in. I read a story about the whale dated two weeks ago that they thought it could have been dragged into the harbor by the boat that struck it but that seems pretty unlikely. Even these massive container ships would notice a ten ton drag on their ship. At least I would think they would.

      But everything I wrote is just a guess. The whale is substantially degraded and has been out there bumping around for at least a few weeks. It could easily have died of natural causes then banged into pilings picking up black tar and the red is natural degradation.


  • This shot really shows how large it was. I couldn’t really tell in Donna’s photo. Impressive animal. Never thought of them getting hit by ships.


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