This is an excerpt of the interview with Sonia Español, leader of the cetacean area of MERI Foundation regarding the stranding of a whale in Antofagasta.
A humpback whale was also recently found dead in the Strait of Magellan after colliding with a vessel, said the leader of MERI’s cetacean area and director of “The Blue BOAT Initiative”, Sonia Español-Jiménez.
“This is a reminder that these events are far more common than we think, and more so if we consider that whales usually do not come to shore, so we do not know the exact numbers of whales affected by ship strikes,” she explained.
In addition, she noted that these events may be on the rise due to the increase of vessels in Chile and the oceans in general over the years.
It should be remembered that whales play a key role in the oceans as “engineers” so the loss of a single animal influences the balance of the planet’s seas due to their role in the fight against climate change, added Español-Jiménez. “These events highlight the importance of protecting whales from vessels, not only because of ship strikes but also because of the noise they generate, which also disturbs them. That is why initiatives such as The Blue BOAT Initiative, which is being carried out in the Corcovado Gulf by MERI and the Ministry of the Environment and seeks to install a network of smart buoys to warn vessels of whales, could be a real solution to this problem, which is becoming more and more notorious,” she stated.