As KRON 4 reports, yesterday morning the National Marine Fisheries Service reported sightings of a dead whale, its body afloat in the Oakland Estuary.
At about 4:30 a.m, the U.S. Coast Guard had notified the fisheries service of the whale carcass, floating between Alameda and Oakland, eventually spotted in the waters off Alameda adjacent to Jack London Square. The type of whale and even its size are still unknown. Biologists have taken a blubber sample for further study.
According to the Chronicle, federal officials are weighing options for the whale's removal from its final resting place, off an Alameda dock. There are concerns that the carcass could interrupt the flow of Port of Oakland traffic.
The marine mammal likely sunk nearing Alameda on Monday, but began to float as it decomposed. To discover a dead whale so deep in the Bay is highly unusual according to the Coast Guard.
Per Lt. J.G. Aulner, the whale was dragged into the Bay from the open ocean by a container ship this past week. “The ship accepted tugs on the way in and they were told there was a whale on the bulbous bow,” Aulner said. Crew members say they didn't even know that they had pushed the carcass through the Golden Gate. Whether the ship killed the animal upon striking it or whether it had already died remains a mystery.
The whale is only the most recent of many this year that have been found in the Bay Area. Most recently, on August 2nd a dead whale washed up in Pacifica, sadly a more routine occurrence there.