Humpback Whale Struck and Killed by Ship While Feeding Near Alcatraz Island

Whale watchers said Monday a whale was struck and killed Sunday near Alcatraz Island.

A naturalist aboard a whale watching boat witnessed the aftermath of the humpback whale strike.

It used to be whales would rarely travel deep into San Francisco Bay, but in the past three years, whale watching has become a common summer pastime. Naturalist Michael Pierson was aboard the Kitty Kat on Sunday and saw humpbacks feeding.

“They’re following those bait fish, so where ever those bait fish are, that’s where the whales are going to go,” Pierson said of the whales.

The skipper of the whale watching boat warned a container ship, which maneuvered away from the big cetaceans.

But a few hours later, another ship struck and killed one of the humpbacks that was feeding in the middle of the bay.

Pierson believes the solution is for ships to slow to 10 knots or less when whales are seen in the bay.

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SOURCE: NBC Bay Area, Mark Matthews