Stevenson: Boat Strikes Threatening Humpbacks

April 7, 2015

Photographs recently captured in the Challenger Banks area offer a stark reminder of the perils that whales can face in the ocean, with the whale spotted harbouring a slash across its back that whale researcher Andrew Stevenson said appears to have been caused by the prop of a small boat, lopping off its dorsal fin.

Mr Stevenson said, “The North Atlantic humpback whale population is increasing rapidly thanks to the moratorium on whaling, but entanglements and ship/boat strikes are threatening humpbacks more than ever before.”

The photo by Mr Stevenson shows the injured whale in the Challenger Banks area:


“Well over 65 percent of our humpbacks have entanglement scars or propeller scars on their bodies. Whales cannot always get out of the way of a ship or fast-approaching boat,” Mr Stevenson explained.

“We have now identified over one thousand individual humpback whales in Bermuda waters in the last nine seasons. This year looks like it will be a bumper crop for whale IDs and we are aiming to identify over 200 this year alone.”

The same whale showing an injury to the right side of the fluke


“This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest catalogue of humpback whale fluke IDs obtained in one place anywhere in the world and what makes it unique is that it has been done in the middle of the ocean.

“The fact that we have done this in only nine years is an indication that we have large numbers of whales passing through our waters as they migrate from their breeding grounds in the West Indies to their feeding grounds up north.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (8)

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  1. George says:

    That ain’t no small boat propeller scar! To cause that sort of damage to a whale whose skin is considerably thick you are looking at quite a sizable diameter prop, turning at quite a considerable rpm!

    • Golfinho says:

      looks like a wicked tat now tho…

      the whale sees and hears the boat from far… don’t know why he didnt avoid it… same with the boat gps…. 2 tards

  2. stunned... says:

    …humans – vermin species

    • Joey-Bag-O'Doughnuts says:

      And apparently you’re changing the world posting on computer. Well played.

  3. damn.... says:

    That whale is actually part of a gang called, The Whalers…those are his gang stripes…By the looks of it, he is pretty high ranking.

  4. So now what - says:

    Other countries have laws with whale Watching. There are guidelines for human and whale safety and with so many people going on on their own is something that should be publicized. Studies have been published that excessive whale watching can disrupt their migration, breeding and eating.

  5. More Whales fish are not biting when they are here and I hear that we can expect a bumper crop of Portuguese man of war, do to less fish stock eating the sporning man of war.
    Hope they don’t close the beaches on South Shore
    Admiralty House will definitely be a hit