Port finds dead whale in waterway; cause of death to be determined

The Port of Tacoma is working with marine mammal response network members to determine the cause of death of a whale discovered Friday in a Commencement Bay waterway.

A Port Security officer spotted the whale, estimated to be 30 to 35 feet long, at the south end of the Blair Waterway. It’s unclear yet whether the whale, believed to be a fin or sei, came in with a container ship. Members of the response network, which includes NOAA-Fisheries, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cascadia Research Collective, said the whale also appeared to have a throat injury, which might indicate an attack by an Orca or other animal.

The Port is having the whale towed to a secure location, where wildlife biologists can examine it Saturday morning to determine the cause of death.