Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Orca pod filmed hunting whale calf in ‘unprecedented’ California killing spree


Killer Whales, Monterey Bay, California. Photo source: ©© John K

Excerpts;

In an “unprecedented” rash of attacks, a pod of killer whales in Monterey Bay, California, has killed four gray whales in a week, a phenomenon one researcher hasn’t seen in her 30-year career…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (04-28-2017)

Spread of algal toxin through marine food web broke records in 2015, Science Daily (01-10-2016)
Researchers monitoring the unprecedented bloom of toxic algae along the west coast of North America in 2015 found record levels of the algal toxin domoic acid in samples from a wide range of marine organisms. The toxin was also detected for the first time in the muscle tissue or filet of several commercial fish species…

Sea Lions Exposed To Toxic Algae At Risk Of Brain Damage and Memory Loss; Nature World News (12-15-2015)

Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish; NOAA (01-09-2017)
Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time by a NOAA-supported research team…

Unprecedented sea lion strandings in California linked to warmer Pacific, Reuters (02-19-2015)
The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said…

Record Number of Seals Are Dying On California Shores, Nature World News (04-18-2015)
Along California’s coast, an increasing number of endangered Guadalupe fur seals have died after stranding themselves on shore. Since January, almost 80 dead fur seals have been found in the area, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to declare an “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME)…

World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales; IPS News (10-24-2016)

Larger marine animals at higher risk of extinction, and humans are to blame, Science Daily (09-14-2016)
In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing…

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication; Science Daily (02-03-2016)

As China’s Mudflats Disappear, Shorebird Populations Rapidly Decline


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Populations of some migratory shorebirds are declining by as much as 8 percent per year as mudflats in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea disappear due to rising sea levels and infrastructure projects, according to new research…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (04-13-2017)

Rare Shorebirds Threatened By Trapping in China; BBC News (01-20-2013)

What makes this New Zealand beach a whale graveyard?


Beached pilot whales, Farewell Spit, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

Each year locals from Golden Bay at the top of New Zealand’s South Island know to expect a whale beaching at a narrow strip of sand curving into the Cook Strait, known as Farewell Spit…

Read Full Article, BBC News (02-13-2017)

650 whales stranded on New Zealand coast, USA Today (02-11-2017)

Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Beach Themselves Again; LiveScience (02-11-2017)
NASA scientists have launched a study of a more far-out idea: that solar storms mess with the internal compasses of whales and dolphins, leading to stranding events. Experts at Massey University are expected to undertake animal autopsies, or necropsies, of some of the pilot whales today, according to the DOC.

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

650 whales stranded on New Zealand coast


Beached pilot whales, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

A new pod of 240 whales swam aground at a remote New Zealand beach on Saturday just hours after weary volunteers managed to refloat a different group of whales following an earlier mass stranding.

In total, more than 650 pilot whales have beached themselves along a 5 kilometer (3 mile) stretch of coastline over two days on Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island. About 335 of the whales are dead, 220 remain stranded, and 100 are back at sea…

Read Full Article, USA Today (02-11-2017)

Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Beach Themselves Again; LiveScience (02-11-2017)
NASA scientists have launched a study of a more far-out idea: that solar storms mess with the internal compasses of whales and dolphins, leading to stranding events. Experts at Massey University are expected to undertake animal autopsies, or necropsies, of some of the pilot whales today, according to the DOC.

As 200 More Whales Are Stranded In New Zealand, Heroics Turn To Heartbreak; NPR (02-11-2017)

More than 400 whales beach themselves in New Zealand, CBS News (02-09-2017)
New Zealand volunteers formed a human chain in the water at a remote beach on Friday as they raced to save dozens of whales after more than 400 of the creatures beached themselves in one of the worst whale strandings in the nation’s history…

337 Whales Beached in Largest Stranding Ever, Patagonia; National Geographic (11-22-2015)

Are Solar Storms Causing Mysterious Sea Animal Beachings?; LiveScience (02-03-2017)
Why do otherwise healthy sea creatures end up stranded along coastal areas around the world? NASA scientists are searching for the answer…

Whale Mass Stranding Attributed to Sonar Mapping For First Time; Wildlife Conservation Society (09-26-2013)

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Warm Pacific water blamed for vast seabird die-off

plastic-pollution
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A year after tens of thousands of common murres, an abundant North Pacific seabird, starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska, researchers have pinned the cause to unusually warm ocean temperatures that affected the tiny fish they eat…

Read Full Article, CBS News (02-10-2017)

More than 400 whales beach themselves in New Zealand

beached-pilot-whales
Beached pilot whales, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

New Zealand volunteers formed a human chain in the water at a remote beach on Friday as they raced to save dozens of whales after more than 400 of the creatures beached themselves in one of the worst whale strandings in the nation’s history.

About three-quarters of the pilot whales were already dead when they were found Friday morning at Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island…

Read Full Article, CBS News (02-09-2017)

400 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand’s ‘whale trap’ beach; New Scientist (02-10-2017)
More than 400 pilot whales washed up on beaches at Farewell Spit on the South Island, a known black spot for whale standings. The reasons for beachings remain a mystery. Explanations range from marine noise pollution to suicides, and NASA is even investigating whether solar storms could mess with whales’ navigation. But geography could certainly be a factor, considering several known stranding blackspots share characteristics…

140 Whales Die After Getting Stranded On New Zealand Beach, AP / Huffington Green (02-15-2015)

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach


“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Scientists in Norway found more than 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste inside the stomach of a whale stranded off the coast…

Read Full Article; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic; EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

Death by Plastic: Is Ocean Plastic Garbage Killing Whales?, Independent UK

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)

Ocean Plastic is Likely Disappearing Into the Food Chain, New Study Indicates, Guardian UK (02-13-2015)

Biodegradable Plastics Are Not the Answer to Reducing Marine Litter, UN News Center (11-23-2015)
Widespread adoption of products labelled ‘biodegradable’ will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, concluded a UN report released today…

“Midway.” A Love Story for our Time from the Heart of the Pacific”—By Chris Jordan, Midway Film; (04-01-2015)
A shocking film from Midway Island in the North Pacific Ocean, by Midway Film.

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

Chris Jordan Photography
“© Midway: Message from the Gyre (2009),” from the Midway Series. Photograph courtesy of © Chris Jordan for Coastal Care’s Photo Of The Month, August 2010.