Ship Strike Season Begins

LNG opponents say whale’s death shows need for restrictions
By Douglas A. Moser , Staff writer
Gloucester Daily Times

ROCKPORT – Opponents of the liquefied natural gas ports proposed off Gloucester said yesterday the dead whale that washed up on Cape Hedge Beach on Monday highlights their concern about increased vessel traffic threatening whales.

If the projects come to fruition, large tankers filled with supercooled liquefied natural gas would be travelling regularly to the ports, planned for about 10 miles southeast of Gloucester Harbor, to unload the fuel and send it through an underwater pipeline to the mainland.

“I think it highlights the concerns we and a lot of other people are raising in our comments” to the state and federal governments, said Roger Fleming, a senior attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation. “Any time you introduce something that’s going to increase vessel traffic, it emphasizes the importance of making sure there are appropriate rules in place to try to prevent these types of interactions from taking place.”

According to a necropsy report completed by Dr. Michael Moore of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, a vessel struck and killed the 2-year-old, 30-foot humpback whale, which washed ashore at Cape Hedge Beach and was discovered Monday at 7:30 p.m.

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