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Q: ship-whale collisions ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: ship-whale collisions
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: wetinterests-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 Jan 2003 14:50 PST
Expires: 22 Feb 2003 14:50 PST
Question ID: 147663
Are there obtainable statistics for ship - whale strikes (collisions)
for North American or European jurisdictions?

Not seeking individual ship-cetacean accounts.

Thank you
Subject: Re: ship-whale collisions
Answered By: tisme-ga on 23 Jan 2003 17:42 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The hardest hit group appears to be right whales, and that is what I
found most statistics to be on.

"The New England Aquarium's North Atlantic Right Whale Research
Project is in its 18th year of studying the rarest of the world's
large whales. Fewer than 325 right whales (Eubalaena glacialis)
survive in the North Atlantic."
Source: Right Whales

This appears to be the organization that is "in the know" about
everything regarding whale collisions, and I suggest that you contact
them directly and request the latest statistics at:

The address and phone number for this organization is:
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

I found an newsgroup post where someone requested the number of ship
collisions for the last three years and the answer was: "Contact Amy
Knowlton or Philip Hamilton at the New England Aquarium for updated

Excerpt: "Today, human activities, primarily collisions with ships,
still account for about 40% of all right whale deaths. Of the known
human-caused deaths since 1976, collisions with large ships have
killed 14 North Atlantic right whales, and fishing gear entanglements
have killed 2. Inbreeding and pollution may also contribute to low
birth rates."
Source: Seabits Newsletter: May 1999

In their spring 2001 newsletter, the number has gone up: "Out of 49
documented mortalities since 1970, 17 have been attributed to vessel
collisions, although in all cases but one, the vessel involved is not
Source: Activities of the Ship Strike Committee
HTML Version:

This PDF file shows statistics on Mediterranean Fin Whales:
Source: Evidence of Man-Made Injuries on Mediterranean Fin Whales
The above file shows that they checked twenty-two animals (5.8% of the
total 380 fin whales) and it showed that 9 (60%) showed "wounds from
collisions with boats' hulls;", "4 (26.7%) had propeller scars", and
"2 (13.3%) lost half of their flukes".
The above information appears to be from the Mediterranean Sea only.

Here is a good article worth reading that says that between 20% and
35% of whales have been struck by ships, with some species being more
affected by this (such as the Right Whale).

Search Strategy: whale

new england aquarium whale research project

Clarification of Answer by tisme-ga on 23 Jan 2003 18:00 PST
Unfortunately, I posted the answer too early by accident. I realize
that the information I have found might not be useful to you, if this
is the case, please let me know and I will request that my answer be
retracted. I have done some more research and have not come up with
much more useful information, so please let me know if my research
helped you.

Here is some information I would like to attach to the original

European statistics and technical information can be found on this

One of my fellow researchers passed along the following information
which you might find useful:

"Since 1970, from an analysis by the New England Aquarium (Knowlton,
1966), 42 mortalities have been recorded. Of these, 12 were natural
calf mortalities, 14 were from ship strikes, 2 from entanglement, and
26 of unknown cause."

Search Strategy:
new england aquarium whale research project

whale collisions statistics

whale collisions reported
wetinterests-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thanks for going the extra mile!

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