Fin whale was searching for krill feast but met cargo ship before washing up in Commencement Bay

A dead whale is seen on Commencement Bay in Tacoma on Friday.
A dead whale is seen on Commencement Bay in Tacoma on Friday. Courtesy

The fin whale that washed up in Commencement Bay after being impaled by a cargo ship was young, healthy and feeding when it was killed, according to a necropsy report.

Officials performed the necropsy Saturday, a day after the 52-foot-long endangered whale was found dead and a cargo ship captain reported the bow of his ship might be to blame.

The whale was feeding on krill in the Strait of Juan de Fuca when it was hit by the underwater bow of the ship, KIRO reported.

“There was a significant amount of hemorrhage along the mid-back, which was determined to be the point of impact of the ship clearly while the whale was still alive,” according to the Cascadia Research Collective, which did the necropsy.

The report says a gray whale was struck weeks ago by a boat in the water off Everett.

Fin whales are the second largest creatures and listed as endangered in the United States. They grow up to by 88 feet long and weigh 50 to 70 tons.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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