40 feet of endangered sperm washes ashore in Oregon

A 40-foot whale was found dead along the Oregon coast on Saturday after its carcass washed ashore along a stretch of beach at Fort Stephens State Park, officials said.

The whale was found near the park’s flagship Peter Iredale shipwreck and belongs to an endangered species of marine mammal, Seaside Aquarium writes in Facebook Last post on Sunday. The aquarium also shared a short video on its social media page of a sperm whale beached after it was spotted.

According to the aquarium, several “large wounds” were found on the whale’s body, which can be partially seen in the video, and may have been caused by a collision with a ship.

“[H]However, it is not clear whether this strike occurred before or after death,” Basin said in a Facebook post. An autopsy will be scheduled later in the week to take a closer look at this.”

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may conduct the autopsy on Monday afternoon, Michael Milstein, a spokesman for the agency, told CBS News in an email. Milstein said the scan may reveal more details about the whale’s death and what caused it.

The aquarium website noted that workers at Fort Stephens State Park removed the sperm whale’s lower jaw “so that the teeth would remain intact for scientific purposes,” adding that the whale “is believed to be a juvenile male.” The 40-foot-long sperm whale is “about the usual size” of an adult male, Milstein told CBS News on Monday.

Sperm whales are The largest toothed whale On land, according to NOAA, males sometimes reach nearly 60 feet in length and weigh more than 40 tons. They usually feed on marine species found in deeper waters, such as squid, sharks, and other fish, and can live up to 60 years. The number of sperm whales found off the west coast of the United States is estimated to be around 2,000, Milstein said, but they are “less common farther north in winter.”

“Having a sperm whale this time of year is a bit unusual, but we’ve had sperm whale leads in the winter before,” Milstein explained, adding that “sperm whales are the third most common species of whale in Oregon, after gray and humpback whales.” “.

Although the current exact size of sperm whales in the world is not known, it is estimated that there could be anywhere from 200,000 to 1 1/2 million of them living in oceans around the world, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has mentioned. The whales are listed as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, after nearly two centuries of commercial whaling practices have “significantly reduced sperm whale populations worldwide,” according to Fisheries. Noa fish.

The government agency notes that the number of sperm whales is “likely increasing” since a ban on commercial fishing was introduced in 1986, but that it is also “continuing to recover” as a species whose survival remains threatened for a number of reasons. According to NOAA Fisheries, which leads sperm whale conservation efforts, the species is vulnerable to ship strikes, entanglement with fishing gear, underwater noise pollution, which can impede their ability to communicate, marine debris, oil spills and other pollutants, as well as various consequences. from climate change.

A few incidents have been documented where a marine vessel fatally collided with a sperm whale, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). However, from 2010 to 2014, the agency reported that 37 whales They were injured by ship strikes along the Atlantic coast of North America and the Gulf of Mexico, with similar estimates along the Pacific coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has called these reports “lower estimates,” which are “likely low because the number of deaths and serious injuries that are not being reported is unknown.” Additional studies have indicated that marine vessels pose a significant threat to whales and other marine life, with one of them published in 2017 Which indicates that as many as 80 blue, fin and humpback whales collide along the west coast of the United States each year.

A number of whales, including some of an endangered species, have been killed or injured in US waters recently. Earlier this month, a 4-year-old North Atlantic right whale – one of the rarest whales in the world, with only a few hundred left – was originally spotted on January 8 by an aerial survey team from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, Heavily entangled in fishing gear. The whale was seen again about 20 miles east of Rodanthe, North Carolina, with “several turns of string around the mouth and tail” and more streaks behind it, NOAA said. The agency said the animal was “likely to die” after its tangled fishing lines left it with “several wounds on its body and whale lice on its head”.

around the same time, Killer whale 21 feet A stranded whale was later found dead after washing ashore near Daytona Beach, Florida, while another 32-foot whale washed ashore in Brigantine, N.J., after officials said it likely She is hit and killed by a naval vesselCBS Philadelphia reported. Earlier, in mid-December, a humpback whale named Moon—widely known and beloved by the researchers who studied her—was Left with a broken spine and unable to use its tail after being hit by a ship while swimming from Canada to Hawaii. Experts said they believe the trip will be Moon’s “last flight” before her death.

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