Port of Manzanillo, Colima — A container ship that arrived at the Port of Manzanillo in Colima on Wednesday was found dragging a deceased whale.
The whale was noticed by port staff while the ship was docking at the pier.
During docking maneuvers, workers at pier number 13 noticed that there was a whale stuck on the tip of the ship. Environmental officers were called who identified the mammal as a Blue Whale.
They say that the whale was likely alive when it was struck by the ship and dragged to the the port in Colima.
Christian Ortega Ortiz, a research oceanologist at the School of Marine Sciences of the Universidad de Colima said that “In 10 years that we have been monitoring, it is the first time that a ship arrives at the port of Manzanillo with a whale like this. We have had some indications of humpback whales with blows, which could have been from small or medium boats, but from a large ship, this is the first time for here.”
The whale was discovered lifeless, stuck in the bow with traces of blood. According to the authorities it could have died after an impact with the ship.
“The ship, when passing near, hooked it with part of the bow. It could have been alive at the time of the collision,” said Ortega Ortiz.
Federal officers with la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa) say the Blue Whale was approximately 15 meters long and weighrd 40 tons. Because of the size of his jaw, specialists estimate he was four years old.
The container ship was coming from Long Beach, California to the port of Manzanillo. The whale was presumed to have been swimming from Costa Rica. They estimate that the impact could have occurred very close to the coast of Manzanillo.
“In San Francisco Bay in the United States, there have been seven gray whales impacted by boats, so that is something that is attracting attention to US researchers right now,” adding “We have another case here,” Ortega Ortiz noted.