Ship strikes

Collisions with ships and other vessels are known to injure or kill large numbers of cetaceans. The North Atlantic right whale is particularly at risk, because for some reason it does not seem aware of or make any effort to avoid large ships, resulting in a significant number of fatal collisions.

Ship strikes are to blame for 90% of North Atlantic right whale deaths for which the cause is known (excluding deaths from natural causes such as old age). However, they are only one of the whale species directly threatened by shipping.

WWF is working towards reducing the shipping threats to cetaceans, especially the risks posed to the North Atlantic right whale.
The carcass of a female Northern right whale killed by a ship collision, Nova Scotia, Canada.  / ©: Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF
The carcass of a female Northern right whale killed by a ship collision, Nova Scotia, Canada.
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF