Report of two fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranding associated with ship strike in central-south coast of Chile.
Keywords:Stranding, necropsy, Ship strike
In the last decades, collisions between ships and cetaceans have increased worldwide, with fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), the species that has presented higher mortality due to this cause. This report describes post mortem findings in two juvenile B. physalus stranded dead on the central-south coast of Chile in 2018 and 2019. Gross findings revealed traumatic lesions attributed to interaction with large vessels. Both sites are ports that present high traffic of small and large vessels, increasing the probabilities of ship strike. In Chile, three areas are of high relevance for this species, Atacama (27°S), San Antonio (33°35′S) and Talcahuano (36°30´S), where juvenile age segregation is present. Although systematic records of interactions between cetaceans and vessels are non-existent, these events must be approached with a multidisciplinary focus, as diagnostics and reports are key to establish protection and conservation policies for these large mammals.
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