Ship Strikes

Collisions with ships are one of the primary threats to marine mammals, particularly large whales, along the U.S. West Coast and around the world.  All sizes and types of vessels can hit whales.  The west coast of the United States has some of the heaviest ship traffic associated with some of the largest ports in the country, including the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Columbia River.  Of all the large whale species that inhabit our coastline, Blue, Fin, Humpback, and Gray  whales are the most vulnerable to ship strikes because they migrate along the coast and many utilize areas along the coast for feeding.  Gray, Fin, Humpback, and Minke whales are observed in the inland waters of Washington, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea and may also be vulnerable to ship strikes there.  Gray whales from the Pacific Coast Feeding Aggregation  do not complete the typical gray whale migration that begins in late fall and ends near the beginning of June, and these animals can be observed feeding near Whidbey and Camano Islands and may be vulnerable to ship strikes, as well.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call: 1-866-767-6114 
For law enforcement, harassments,  and other violations, please call:  1-800-853-1964

For entangled marine mammals, please call: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425
or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16
To report derelict gear, please call:  1-855-542-3935

Science & Research

Babcock et al

Laist et al. 2001

Redfern et al. 2013

Vessel Collision Workshop Report, 2010