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Researchers report that the case of this cetacean is unusual.
A humpback whale had the dubious honour of being the first to die in UK waters hit by a ship, because although it is a global problem, the case of this cetacean is quite unique, say British researchers.
Recently the whale was seen on the River Thames, near London, an unusual sighting that aroused the interest of national media, as happened with the beluga “Benny” who last year swam there for several weeks before leaving for the Arctic.
However, the whale was not so lucky and died on the Thames after being hit by a ship , an “attack” that occurs in all the oceans of the world both at sea and near the coast and often causes injuries or injuries.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth, England, report that the case of this cetacean is unusual, since the risk of collision is much higher in areas where they like to swim and large numbers of boats travel, such as the northern part of the Mediterranean that has a lot boat traffic.
“Of course, the whales do not necessarily know them. However, although the area has become a large special protected area for marine mammals, it is estimated that 74 sperm whales could be reached by boats in a single summer, ” they said in a statement .
On the case of the Humpback of the Thames, “it was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time,” since a necropsy carried out by scientists from the UK Whale Strand Research Program, revealed that the whale was in bad shape, with health conditions.
That may explain his trip to the Thames in the first place, but a head injury showed that the cause of death was a collision with a ship, an accident that “happened in public view,” investigators James Robbins and Sarah said. Marley
They pointed out that it is really unknown how frequent these types of accidents are, since dead whales sink and the evidence usually disappears quickly under the waves.
Thus, the few cases of dead whales that reach land with clear wounds from the impact of a ship are just the tip of the iceberg, compared to all collisions that are likely to go unnoticed.
” As a result, there are still many things we don’t know about ship crashes, including key information such as how often they occur and to what extent they affect whale conservation, ” they admitted.
The onslaught of ships has led to the decline in the population of whales. However, the threat of collision really is a global problem that also affects seals, dolphins, sharks and turtles in coastal areas and high seas around the world.
According to the researchers, this problem has increased because the oceans are changing at an unprecedented rate, as traffic has increased noise pollution that in turn has altered natural cycles and behaviours.
In addition, climate change is changing the distribution of plankton, one of the preferred items on a whale’s menu, which could cause them to move to new areas that overlap with commercial sea routes.
Source: Informador MX