Farewell to Fran, mother humpback whale killed by a ship: she was loved by thousands of people
Humpback whale Fran, who became a mother last summer and a beloved one, was killed by a collision with a ship. Her name was a tribute to a deceased woman.
The Megaptera Fran believed to be the most popular in California, passed away in late August from a collision with a ship. His lifeless body was found on Half Moon Bay along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, in the California county of San Mateo. The humpback whale, a female specimen regularly observed in the waters of Mexico and the United States, was the second most reported ever on the "Happy Whale" platform, a Citizen Science site that tracks encounters with large cetaceans.
She had become a real star for fans of whale watching of Monterey Bay, especially for its joyful behavior, made of jumps and acrobatics. In the 2021-2022 season, she was first observed with a piccolo. The horrible and untimely death of him, unfortunately, also jeopardizes the survival of his son. The researchers hope that by the time of her mother's death she had already completed its weaning.
Fran was born in 2005 and was the daughter of "Big Fin", Also known as River or with the identifying name CRC-9019. Since its inception, nearly 300 Happy Whale sightings have been recorded along the Pacific coast of North America, most of which are concentrated in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.
She was loved by thousands of people, also for the sad story of her name. It was a tribute to the deceased wife by Ferd Bergholz, a whale-watching enthusiast who has done dozens of excursions in his life cetacean sightings by Moss Landing. A year after his wife's disappearance and on her birthday, the humpback whale - then known only by the identification codes of marine biologists - did some stunts in front of the boat on which Mr. Bergholz was.
Struck by this exciting encounter, the man decided to go to the Ocean Society to propose his wife's name for the fin whale. Scientists enthusiastically welcomed the romantic proposal, starting the story of the humpback whale Fran.
"When we know our whales as individuals like this, their death affects us much more deeply and the positive part of this is that we care even more about their health," the staff of Whales of Guerrero, a company that organizes whale watching outings in the Pacific.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to do our part to help keep the whales safe and hope, as we mourn this special mother whale, that her death will lead to new laws and better behaviors in the ocean to keep humpback whales warmer. safe in the future, ”the company added. Fran was the third whale photographed by the Whale of Guerrero staff and the first sighted in a feeding area on the north coast.
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The cause of his death was determined by a necropsy examination conducted by veterinarians and biologists from the Marine Mammal Center and the California Academy of Sciences. Collisions with ships and "ghost" fishing nets, which trap them by terrifyingly killing them, unfortunately, represent the main cause of death for the great mysticete cetaceans. Even in the Mediterranean Sea. The hope is that Fran's death will indeed lead to new measures that can protect these marvelous gentle giants who survived the cruelty and slaughter perpetrated by a man during the era of whaling.