November 7, 2002
Fin whale necropsy completed last night
As we reported yesterday, a fin whale was found dead floating in the Salish Sea on Monday. It was tied to a dock on Stuart Island on Tuesday, and on Wednesday was towed to the site of the necropsy at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Labs. Personnel of The Whale Museum and experts from around the region participated in the necropsy.
Although a cause of death has not yet been determined, it may have been hit by a ship, as three other fin whales in recent memory have been found dead from ship strikes in the Pacific Northwest (and carried into the Salish Sea on the bow of the ships). Fin whales are not generally found in the Salish Sea.
After the necropsy, the whale was towed to a bay where it will be sunk and its decomposition studied.
The necropsy was a Friday Harbor community event! For more information, see the San Juan Islander.
For more information on fin whales visit the web site of the American Cetacean Society.