Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Ecuador creates Galápagos marine sanctuary to protect sharks

galapagos-iguana
Iguana, Galapagos. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Ecuador has created a new marine sanctuary in the Galápagos Islands that will offer protection to the world’s greatest concentration of sharks.

Some 15,000 square miles (38,000 sq km) of the waters around Darwin and Wolf – the most northern islands – will be made off limits to all fishing…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Albino Whale ‘Gallon of Milk’ Spotted off Mexico

moby-dick-painting
Image source: ©© Campos Felipe

Excerpts;

An annual whale census off the Pacific coast of Mexico turned up a welcome sight: the albino whale known as “Gallon of Milk,” a female gray whale not seen since 2009…

Read Full Article And View News Video, Discovery News

Albino Whale ‘Gallon of Milk’ Spotted off Mexico; Tech Times
The bright white whale’s condition albinism makes her of a special kind, since the gene mutation that leads to a sharp decrease in the pigment melanin – or the lack of it – is barely recorded among marine mammals. The annual monitoring helps ensure the continuing survival of the gray whale species (Eschrichtius robustus), a highly endangered breed migrating every year between feeding and breeding sites. These majestic creatures can live up to 70 years, and grow to weigh 40 tons and reach 50 feet in length…

Fish Poachers Push Endangered Porpoises to Brink

vaquita
Vaquita. Photo source: Here & Now – Barbara Taylor / NOAA

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China’s lucrative black market for fish parts is threatening the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal. The porpoises, who live only in the Gulf of California, are getting caught up as bycatch in illegal gill nets and killed.

Today, fewer than 100 vaquitas remain, earning it the dubious title of world’s most endangered marine mammal. Scientists fear the porpoise could vanish by 2018…

Read Full Article, Yale E360

Vaquita Porpoise Faces Imminent Extinction—Can It Be Saved? National Geographic (08-14-2014)

Why 10,000-Plus Sharks Are Hanging Out in Florida Waters

black-tip-shark
Black tip shark. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 blacktip sharks are currently swimming off the Florida coast, but while these numbers may seem menacing, shark researchers say it’s not unusual to see these animals — visible as tiny dark spots in aerial photos and video — in the area at this time of year…

Read Full Article, LiveScience

Toxic chemicals found in beached pilot whales in Scotland

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Beached pilot whale, Bragar, Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Photo source: ©© Franzi Richter

Excerpts;

Scientists have found clear evidence that whales are absorbing high levels of toxic heavy metals, with cadmium found in the brains of pilot whales which washed up in Scotland…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

PCB chemical threat to Europe’s killer whales and dolphins, BBC News (01-14-2016)
A pollutant is present at “dangerously high levels” in Europe’s killer whales and dolphins, scientists say…

No One Knows Why Sperm Whales Are Stranding On Europe’s North Sea Beaches, Huffington Green (02-05-2016)

Slew of Beached whales On Britain’s Shores mystifies scientists, Guardian UK (10-07-2011)

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-20-2011)

Study Finds Toxic Pollutants in Fish Across the World’s Oceans, Scripps (01-30-2016)
A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world’s oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The study also uncovered some good news¾concentrations of these pollutants have been consistently dropping over the last 30 years…

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication, Science Daily (02-03-2013)
The study is unique because it estimates the source levels of larger populations and more classes of ships than in previous studies. Overall, container ships exhibited the highest median source levels…

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Death by Plastic: Is Ocean Plastic Garbage Killing Whales? Independent Uk / AFP (07-10-2011)

Human-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects than previously thought

lambi
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication, Science Daily (02-03-2013)

Navy study: Sonar, Blasts Might Hurt More Sea Life (05-14-2012)

A Rising Tide of Noise Is Now Easy to See, The New York Times (12-15-2012)

No One Knows Why Sperm Whales Are Stranding On Europe’s North Sea Beaches

sperm-whale
A mother sperm whale and her calf. Photo source: ©© Gabriel Barathieu / Wikimedia

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A sixth sperm whale has died on a British beach, the latest of nearly 30 to have become stranded in shallow waters on the coastline of Europe’s North Sea over the past month…

Read Full Article, Huffington Green

Whale washes up and dies on Norfolk beach in sixth UK stranding in weeks, Guardian UK

Slew of Beached whales On Britain’s Shores mystifies scientists, Guardian UK (10-07-2011)

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-20-2011)

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication, Science Daily (02-03-2013)
The study is unique because it estimates the source levels of larger populations and more classes of ships than in previous studies. Overall, container ships exhibited the highest median source levels…

Study: Why Blue Whales Can’t Avoid Barges, Ocean Liners, Huffington Green (05-06-2015)

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication

orca
Photo source: ©© Ross G. Strachan

Excerpts;

Because orcas, like other toothed whales, use mid-and high-frequencies to communicate and find their prey, the study measured a wide range of frequencies (10 Hz to 40,000 Hz). The results show that ships are responsible for elevated background noise levels not only at low frequencies as expected, but also at medium and higher frequencies (including at 20,000 Hz where killer whales hear best). This means that in coastal environments where marine mammals live within a few kilometers of shipping lanes, ship noise has the potential to interfere with both communication and echolocation.

The study is unique because it estimates the source levels of larger populations and more classes of ships than in previous studies. Overall, container ships exhibited the highest median source levels…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature
In the Canary Islands, 14 beaked whales washed ashore bleeding from the ears. All eventually died. A post-mortem examination revealed that the whales showed signs of decompression sickness (what scuba divers call “the bends”). Decompression sickness can occur when a mammal swims to the ocean’s surface too quickly, and the change in pressure produces lethal nitrogen gas bubbles that clog its blood vessels. Evidence of acute decompression sickness indicates unusual behavior. Over the past 40 years, cumulative research across the globe has revealed a coincidence between naval sonar testing events and acute decompression sickness in beached marine mammals…

Whales Benefit From Action On Ocean Noise, BBC News (03-04-2013)

A Rising Tide of Noise Is Now Easy to See, The New York Times (12-15-2012)

Navy study: Sonar, Blasts Might Hurt More Sea Life (05-14-2012)

Accoustic Pollution and Naval Sonar testing, Discover Magazine (01-26-2012)

Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300 Percent Since 1992, AGU (11-29-2014)
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, likely causing more water, air and noise pollution on the open seas, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic…

Super-sized ships: How big can they get? Independent (10-21-2014)
Despite the physical limits and risks, ships of more than 450m are anticipated within the next five years…

A Silent Victory For Marine Mammals, On Earth Magazine (04-03-2015)
A federal judge stands up to the noisy navy for the sake of marine mammals…

Study Finds Toxic Pollutants in Fish Across the World’s Oceans

fish-coastal-care
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world’s oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

The study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego also uncovered some good news¾concentrations of these pollutants have been consistently dropping over the last 30 years…

Read Full Article, Scripps