Update at 6 p.m.: The dead gray whale found under the Colman ferry dock Thursday morning has been moved to a temporary site at Pier 48, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service.
The whale, a 32-foot-long female, is partially decomposed and had likely been dead for several days, NOAA said. Divers moved the whale from underneath the dock.
NOAA is working with Washington State Ferries to identify a site where a necropsy can take place Friday or Saturday to determine why the whale died.
Gray whales migrate south along along the West Coast between October and February, so it’s not unusual to see gray whales in the Puget Sound at this time of year, according to NOAA.
Original post: A dead whale has been found underneath the Colman ferry dock.
There is no impact to ferry service, said a spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries.
Broch Bender, ferries spokeswoman, said the captain of the Puyallup ferry reported the whale carcass under the Colman Dock at 10:48 p.m.
The whale, described as being 25 to 30 feet long, is not visible from the dock, Bender said. She didn’t know how the captain spotted it.
Bender said that ferry passengers at Pier 52 should be aware of a strong smell coming from the carcass.
“There is an odor right now. There’s nothing we can do about it,” she said.
NOAA, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Whale Hotline have been contacted to help decide what do to with the whale remains.
Bender said NOAA “is responsible for removal of the whale.”