Blue Whale Movements
Too Close for Comfort
Shown here, a blue whale near the shipping channel off southern California.
Dead Blue Whale
Examining a whale
The study researchers say it is in the best interests of both the whales and shipping companies to avoid whale strikes. "When ships hit whales, the shipping companies' insurance companies require them to have their ships inspected for damage before they go across the ocean," said lead study author Ladd Irvine, a marine mammal ecologist at Oregon State University. "There are limited facilities to do that, and ships have to sit for a long time and miss out on income while they get inspected."