Whale Strikes

In June of 2019, 6 Right Whales were found dead in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Canada- when necroscopy was performed, 3 out of the 6 were killed by large ship strike. https://bangordailynews.com/2019/07/10/news/world-news/canada-announces-new-protections-for-rare-right-whales/?ref=also-like&fbclid=IwAR33Z-dWM5BBvDb6PhlgP5YOIwNWh3Jx0WYQq7sw50AYqaJe5cE9sdNp0z8

Fewer than 425 individuals remain alive, and of those, fewer than 100 are female. An extinction is being perpetrated before our eyes; this is being caused as a by product of human entertainment and profit. We understand that rope entanglement is also an issue, yet here in the US, almost no attention is being placed on the ship strike half of the problem.

This is the Holland America ship Zaandam in Frenchman Bay, during the afternoon of Sunday July 7th, 2019, taken from Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park. Shortly after, the ship pulled anchor and headed toward the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, to be traveling at night- over the next several days it would stop at Halifax, Sidney, and Charlotte Town. Last night, it traveled through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence- passengers drank at the bars, gambled at the casino, took walking tours of the on board art work provided by Parke West Galleries, and enjoyed the entertainment. Perhaps, had anyone planned ahead, a reality horror show could have been advertised, featuring the 778 foot ship crushing a Right whale to death in the dark, as she slept or swam near the surface- above her, 1,432 people partied or perhaps slept themselves, and 615 crew catered to their every need….The Zaandam will visit Bar Harbor 24 times in the summer of 2019, traversing the Gulf of Saint Lawrence twice each time .

The ship Celebrity Summit, owned by the same parent company as Royal Caribbean, will visit Bar Harbor 8 times in 2019, on the way back from possibly killing whales in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. At 965 feet in length, carrying 2,218 passengers and 999 crew, this large ship has even more power to hit whales!! Imagine a world where killing off the gentle intelligent giants of the seas is the blood sport by- product of human insatiable need for new views, new alcoholic beverages, and a “get away from the rat race” (to say nothing of the air and water pollution produced by these floating towns).

Perhaps the Veendam, at only 719 feet long, won’t kill as many whales with each strike? At up to about 60 feet long, an adult Right Whale doesn’t stand a chance. The Veendam will visit Frenchman Bay 7 times in 2019. And remember, each visit for each of these ships means two passages through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, as the ship heads to Quebec City and then heads back toward home. This isn’t all of the ships of course- but you get the idea. Almost 180 ships will visit Frenchman Bay in 2019, and most of them are heading to or from Canadian waters. Can anyone prove which ships are hitting whales, and when? No. And because no one can prove which ships, and no one sees it happen, it will keep happening. Whale deaths in 2017 spurred a 10 knot speed limit (with various complicated exceptions) in parts of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The fine for exceeding the limit ranges from $6,000 to $25,000 Canadian dollars (which, as of today is $4,596.60 to $19, 152.50) . So, by our calculations, for a cost of between $1,953,555 and $8,139,812.50 (US),the cruise industry could speed through, kill every right whale, and that would be the end of this “problem”. https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/marine/navigation-marine-conditions/protecting-north-atlantic-right-whales-collisions-ships-gulf-st-lawrence.html