August 03, 2010
Initial observations indicated the whale was likely a juvenile humpback. NOAA's Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, Aleria Jensen, confirmed the whale was a humpback, but an adult rather than a juvenile.
Photo courtesy NOAA
Thursday's operations focused on external observations and initial assessment. A team of about a dozen biologists and stranding network volunteers led by veterinarians from NOAA Fisheries and the Alaska Sea Life Center plan to focus on internal evidence Friday when they planned to perform a necropsy to learn more about how the whale died.
The crew from Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess reported to the U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA Wednesday morning that a whale was lodged on the ship's bulbous bow. The whale apparently became attached overnight.
The Sapphire Princess, enroute from Ketchikan, was delayed from its expected arrival in Juneau Wednesday by about two hours so that the whale could be removed from the ship's bow and towed to a location suitable for a necropsy.
NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement officers have interviewed the captain and some officers of the cruise ship, and are in the process of gathering and reviewing evidence.
Mariners are requested to report
any sightings of marine mammals in distress to the NOAA
NOAA Fisheries would like to
remind the public that humpback whales are protected by both
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