Great Barrier Reef ‘whale zones’ proposed to reduce deadly ship strikes

Conservationist urge boat speed limits as report reveals whales suffering propeller lacerations, blunt trauma and severed spines.

A data analysis conducted by Guardian Australia last week showed that whales are more likely to be hit by whale-watching vessels than any other type of boat.

A total of 43 whales were reported being hit in Australia between 1885 and 2010, compared with 205 in the US.

“There is a massive under-reporting of whale strikes,” said Collis. “Whale-watching boards are more likely to report because they would feel a significant bump, but a large tanker may not notice it.

“In Australia, most whale strikes are reported by scientists on examination of stranded animals which have had their insides turned to mush by being hit by a boat. We need better awareness of the issue and better reporting.”


GR:  There are wildlife speed limits at numerous locations on land and sea.  A good example is the one for North Atlantic Right Whale off the U. S. east coast (