Partially submerged whales pose a threat to California beaches

A dead humpback whale was found near Fort Bragg, Calif., on Sept. 12, but experts say it could migrate and injure passers-by.

Screenshot of Nongyang Marine Science Center’s Facebook page

a dead whale partially submerged Stuck near a cliff in California, experts fear the corpse could suddenly move and injure anyone standing nearby.

A young whale was reported Monday, Sept. 12, in waters near downtown Fort Bragg, according to the Noyo Center for Marine Science. Fort Bragg is located about 190 miles northwest of Sacramento.

It has been identified as a 26.5-foot male humpback whale, which is an endangered species capable of growing. up to 60 feet Lives up to 90 years, according to NOAA fisheries. A probable cause of death has not been made public.

“We ask that you never approach dead marine mammals, especially animals of this size,” said a Noyo Center official.

“When an animal of this size is partially submerged in a wave, it can change direction and pose a serious danger to individuals in close proximity to the animal.”

The danger in this case is heightened by the location “just below a sheer cliff”, officials said.

Center staff visited the whales at low tide to collect data for research, but there are no plans to remove them from the shore.

In August, the Noyo Center attempted to tow a 45-foot dead sperm whale “from a cove near Mendocino Bay to a beach suitable for a partial autopsy.” “No buoyancy” The center said it sank before reaching its destination.

Research on stranded whales requires a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and it could be against the law for passers-by to disturb a humpback carcass, officials said.

“Not only is it dangerous, but under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), removing any part of a whale unless previously authorized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. is illegal,” said the center. .

As part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the Noyo Center responds to dead marine mammals on the Mendocino coast from Gualala to Rockport. Center research is permitted under license from the California Academy of Sciences.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness, nonprofits and more. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in journalism and art history and a minor in geology. Partially submerged whales pose a threat to California beaches

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