Cruise Ship Sails into New York With a Dead Whale

Last Saturday, MSC Meraviglia returned to the Port of Brooklyn with a dead 44-foot whale across its bow.

MSC Meraviglia side view
(Photo Courtesy of MSC Cruises)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) later identified the giant mammal as an endangered sei whale. Estimates peg its numbers at 57,000 to 65,000 globally.

Andrea Gomez from NOAA told Fox News, “Sei whales are endangered, and are typically observed in deeper waters far from the coastline. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is investigating this incident.” 

A rudimentary inspection revealed that the whale had sustained broken bones and blunt force trauma.

“The right flipper had broken bones, and there was evidence of tissue trauma along the right shoulder blade region,” Gomez added.

According to NOAA, the whale was moved and brought to shore in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Its new location offers access to heavy equipment and necropsy, as well as an autopsy for animals. Biologists will collect bone and tissue samples to find out if the whale was alive when it encountered the ship or if it was already dead.

Sidney Sterling, MSC Cruises’ director of media relations, assured the public that the cruise line routinely avoids collisions with marine life by training personnel and following regulations.

“We have comprehensive measures in place to help avoid collisions, such as training all our deck officers with the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) and we follow regulations designed to protect whales and other marine life,” Sterling said.

The spokesperson added that MSC will continue to evaluate and update procedures based on recommendations from partners and authorities.

After unloading the sei whale, MSC Meraviglia proceeded to its original destinations in New England and Canada.

MSC meraviglia in port miami
MSC Meraviglia in PortMiami (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

Estimates reveal that up to 20,000 whales die every year due to lethal collisions with vessels. While dead whales on bows are a more common sight than they should be, whales often sink in the water, masking the full magnitude of such accidents.

In April, another dead whale was found floating off Virginia Beach. Authorities believe that it was also hit by a vessel.

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