Feds report increase in whales hit by ships

    A federal agency says a cruise ship heading for New York struck and killed a whale and dragged it into the Hudson River, one of three recent whale strikes by ships along the eastern seaboard.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the rate of strikes is higher than usual for this time of year. It says the whales may be following food sources closer to shore.

    The agency issued a reminder to mariners of measures in place to protect whales.

    A NOAA spokeswoman says the usual rate of whale strikes by ships is about one every few weeks, compared with three in the past few weeks.

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    The whales involved were two sei whales and a fin whale. No recent strikes of endangered North Atlantic right whales have been reported.

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