Monday afternoon an emergency call reported to us what appeared to be a beached baleen whale down the beach from the Marina Resort Hotel. We requested help both from Profepa and the 066 emergency service. The Fire department and San Felipe’s mayor were the ones to quickly attend to the situation, however, the whale turned out to be long deceased, likely brought to shore by the fierce winds over the weekend.
The Sea of Cortez is home to many species of whale, including the California Gray Whale, Humpback Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Sperm Whale and Killer Whale.
Apart from death from natural causes, whales can become tangled in fishermen’s nets, and some whale beachings have been related to noise created by human activities, such as seismic surveys or the use of sonar.
In 2011 one such humpback whale, snared in a fisherman’s net in the Sea of Cortez, was able to be saved by a boatful of whale observers from The Great Whale Conservancy who happened upon it.