Whale impaled on cruise ship in Vancouver


A whale was impaled on the front of a cruise ship that pulled into port in Vancouver Saturday morning, witnesses said.

Jeff MacDonald, who was at Canada Place watching the ship come in, said seeing the impaled mammal "was a shock. You don't expect to see something like that and, you know, there's a lot of people staring at it — it's a very sad thing to see — and you kind of wonder how it would happen in the first place.

"It wasn't something you wanted to see on a nice Saturday morning in Vancouver."

Christianne Wilhelmson, the managing director of the marine conservation group Georgia Straight Alliance, said incidents like this are all too common.

"It's kind of a tragic example of what happens when ships meet whales … There's more and more tanker traffic, there's more and more cruise ship traffic and what you have is an animal that's trying to make its way through all this."

Wilhelmson said that traffic makes a lot of noise underwater, which confuses the whales.

"They can't talk to each other, they can't hear their environment. We're going to have more incidents like this," she said.

"It's very possible that what happened here is the animal just had no idea the ship was there and this tragedy happened because of that."

More to this story:  http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/07/25/bc-cruise-ship-whale-impaled.html

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