Whale of a Cruise Ship Story

If you don’t like sad animal (or in this case mammal) stories you’d better stop reading now.  Many may think that Alaska is a beautiful place to visit by cruise ships but the regional humback whales may not agree after reading the article written by Don Hunter of the Daily News.

Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to pay $755,000 in fines and restitution to resolve accusations that one of its ships struck and killed a humpback whale near Glacier Bay more than five years ago.

The body of a 45-foot female humpback was found floating near the mouth of Glacier Bay on July 16, 2001. A necropsy showed the animal died of massive skull fractures, and that it was pregnant with a 4- to 5-month-old fetus, according to news accounts at the time. A distinctive marking on the whale’s fluke identified her as one first sighted in Seymour Canal as an adult in 1979.  

So what is the answer? How do we fix this?  Does slowing down to a slow and safe speed really solve the problem?  Maybe someone can invent a whale whistle (sort of on the idea of a deer whistle) to warn the whales to “Move out of the way, the cruise ship is coming through, wave to all the nice tourists”.  With more cruise ships heading to Alaska let’s hope that these questions get answered sooner than later so that we can keep these beautiful creatures around for a long time. 

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