Local Swimmers Harass Injured Whale

Written by on December 17, 2012 in Marine Life
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).

Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Photo credit: Christin Khan, NOAA/NEFSC.

The sperm whale seen drifting off Pompano Beach, Florida yesterday has died. According to officials, the whale likely sustained injuries or became ill a day or two before it was found in the shallow waters.

Unfortunately, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now looking into a report from a local resident who photographed two swimmers climbing on top of the whale while it was still alive earlier in the day.

“This whale was likely ill or injured and that is why it came in so close to shore,” said Blair Mase, NOAA’s southeast regional stranding coordinator. “This type of harassment could have caused more harm and added stress to an already stressed whale and ultimately caused its demise.”

Mase noted that harassing a marine mammal is a federal offense.

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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