Once again we're reminded of the dangers that large whales face along the West Coast. Whales are forced to dodge ships traveling into port. Many don't make it. Ship strikes are one of the biggest remaining threats to the recovery of whales, and in the last decade they have become all too common.
Our busy shipping lanes on the West Coast overlap with important foraging habitat for whales. The federal government, charged with protecting endangered species, needs to impose mandatory speed limits on vessels in whale habitats.
Slowing down ships is a great way to prevent ship strikes of whales, and to reduce air pollution.
The writer is oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Referring to the dead whale at Malibu, Jeff Hall, marine mammal coordinator with the California Wildlife Center, said, "There isn't really a protocol for this."