41 Stranded Whales Shot in New Zealand

Discussion in 'Turf and Surf Hunting and Fishing' started by Quigley_Sharps, Jan 1, 2006.


  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Wildlife officers shot 41 pilot whales that beached on New Zealand's South Island, the Department of Conservation said.



    A total of 49 whales came ashore Saturday near Farewell Spit in the second major stranding in the area within two weeks. Eight died on the beaches, and the remaining animals were shot when heavy seas prevented any attempt to refloat them.

    "Given the hopelessness of being able to successfully refloat the whales, our prime concern was then to avoid the whales' suffering a long and painful death," Greg Napp, the department's Golden Bay area officer, said in a statement.

    Napp said the latest stranding was likely unconnected to another last month when 129 pilot whales came ashore close by.

    Conservation officers and volunteers managed to refloat more than 100 in that stranding, but 21 whales died.

    Mike Rogers, a Department of Conservation worker, said the whales that beached Saturday were not thought to be from the pod involved in the larger stranding on Dec. 20.

    "There have always been strandings at Golden Bay," he said, noting that the tide goes out as much as four miles and the animals "get trapped on this gentle sloping beach."
     
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Maybe the whales know something we don't.... :eek:
     
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Navy to study possible link between beached whales and sonar
    beached whale
    Seven whales that beached themselves in the Bahamas might have been affected by powerful sonar from Navy ships

    July 28, 2000
    Web posted at: 3:25 PM EDT (1925 GMT)

    (CNN) -- Important clues have surfaced that may help prove a suspected link between beached whales and powerful sonar equipment used by the U.S. Navy and other nations around the world.

    Scientists discovered the clues earlier this year in March, when seven whales were found dead on a Bahamas beach, near the time and location of a U.S. Navy sonar operation.

    "We did have an operational exercise going on using ships with operational sonars," said Robert Pirie, assistant secretary, U.S. Navy. "...and that was closely correlated with the ... strandings and that's the source of our concern."

    Correspondent David George reports on research into the cause of whale beachings

    "The whale beachings came about the same day as a naval operation," said Roger Gentry of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

    The seven dead whales were found to have inner ear damage, which scientists said might have ruined their sense of direction and ability to navigate.

    Whales with inner ear damage can become disoriented and mistakenly swim too close to shore, beaching themselves and eventually dying.

    Because multiple inner ear damage among beached whales is very rare, officials said creatures might have been injured by the Navy's powerful sonar technology.

    "The kind of acoustic event that would cause the trauma we saw would be fairly intense," Gentry said.

    Although scientists have long suspected that whale beachings were linked to Navy activities, the March beaching has provided some of the strongest evidence to date reinforcing that suspicion.

    In previous beachings where sonar was the suspected cause, no whale carcasses were recovered for study.

    "What's different about the present beaching is that we do have good biological material," Gentry said.
    dead whale
    Researchers studying the beached whale carcasses discovered inner ear damage, possibly caused by sonar

    The Navy has not accepted responsibility for the Bahamas beaching, but it has agreed to release technical data about the underwater region during the sonar operation.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Navy plan to release a final report on the whale beaching by summer, 2001.

    The report may provide more insight into how marine mammals use underwater sounds and possibly may prevent deadly whale beachings in the future.

    CNN Correspondent David George contributed to this report.
     
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    yummmmmmmm, blubber! I never skinned me one of them yet but I bets I could figure it out! :p :D
     
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    FWIW, we were not supposed to fire off the active sonar until we were deep enough to prevent the water from "boiling" when the sonar went off. Very powerful sound waves. I would not be the least surprised to find out that there is some truth to the rumors of naval sonar damage to whailes and other things with ears. (If you get the chance, you should listen to sea critter noises. The sonar guys had tapes of porpoise snorts, whale farts and belly rumbles, shrimp clicking and lots of other stuff classified as to noise that they used for training.. National Geographic has some sound recordings of whale songs as well. Neat stuff.) :)
     
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I have a Nat'l Geo. recording of whale 'songs.' Its hauntingly beautiful and peaceful. As ghrit knows, whale watching is a big hobby in New England. I shot a great photo of one breaching, all sea, sky, and whale. It's always a thrill to watch a pod of whales as they feed and frolic.
     
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Was that the little flexible square record RightHand? I seem to remember one that came in the magazine in the late 70's early 80's. Was great listening.
     
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Thats the one. I converted it to a tape and ever since, I have been listing to it when I need to settle myself down.
     
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