Tag Archives: Marine Animals

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.

U.S. agency says no to requests for ocean surveys with airguns

whale-ship
Humpback whale. Captions and Photo source: NOAA Photo Library

Excerpts;

Federal officials have turned down six applications to use airguns to look for undersea sites that might yield oil and natural gas up and down the East Coast, including areas off North Carolina.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the risks to marine life outweigh the potential benefits of seismic surveying along the Outer Continental Shelf, particularly since the Atlantic has been removed from the federal leasing program.

Dozens of coastal towns and counties have passed resolutions objecting to surveying with airguns…

Read Full Article, The Outer Banks Voice (01-06-2017)

Could Seismic Tests Harm Fish? Coastal Review (06-18-2016)

Sonic Sea, Film Documentary; NRDC May 19th, 2016
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. “Sonic Sea” is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution…

U.S. Blocks Oil, Gas Drilling in Atlantic Coastal Waters; (03-15-2016)
The Obama administration pulled back its plan to sell new oil and gas leases off the southeast U.S. coast, ceding to environmental concerns and continuing a trend among federal agencies to slow fossil fuels development in an era of climate change. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the decision was made because many coastal communities oppose oil drilling off their shorelines.

Estimates of offshore drilling’s benefits exaggerated, report says, The Virginian Pilot (12-15-2015)
A report released in December, and prepared for the Southern Environmental Law Center, contends that the potential economic benefits, as cited in a prior report released in 2013 by the American Petroleum Institute, have been exaggerated and don’t take into account the potential loss of jobs in tourism, commercial fishing and other business sectors…

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling, Yale E360 (02-28-2015)
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes the new proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring…

Don’t Drill Along the East Coast, The New York Times (02-04-2015)

When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)

Humpback habitats off Madagascar revealed as energy exploration ramps up


Humpback whale, Madagascar. Photo source: Photo source: ©© Jaaskier1

Excerpts;

How humpback whales use marine habitats off the eastern coast of Africa is only partially understood, and that has become a conservation concern as offshore energy exploration expands in the region.

However, a new study found that humpback whales that were satellite tagged off the coast of Madagascar during peak breeding season are traveling much further in the southwest Indian Ocean than previously thought…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-04-2017)

Up to 20,000 dead fish, other animals washed up on Nova Scotia coast


Nova Scotia coast. Photo source: ©© Jean-François Gaudet

Excerpts;

The carcasses of thousands of sea creatures have mysteriously washed up on the western coast of Nova Scotia.

As many as 20,000 fish, lobsters, starfish, scallops, crabs and other animals have turned up dead at Savory Park, Canadian authorities said. And they have no idea why…

Read Full Article; CNN (12-30-2016)

Mystery of hundreds of thousands of dead fish on Cornish beach solved, UK; Guardian UK (12-19-2016)

The World’s Tuna and Mackerel Populations Are in a “Catastrophic” Decline, Quartz (09-17-2015)

One of the World’s Biggest Fisheries Is on the Verge of Collapse; National Geographic (08-29-2016)

Food Chain Collapse Predicted in World’s Oceans; Discovery News (10-12-2015)

30 percent of global fish catch is unreported, study finds, Science Daily (01-20-2016)

Nearly Half of U.S. Seafood Supply is Wasted, Study Shows, Science Daily (09-25-2015)
As much as 47 percent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research suggests…

Busy Times at the World’s Largest Polar Bear Prison

polar-bears
Photo source: ©© Jidanchaomian

Excerpts;

Sea ice has done some extremely odd things in 2016. This is in part because climate change is reshaping the Arctic faster than the rest of the planet. In its Arctic Report Card 2016, released this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted that Arctic air temperatures are increasing twice as fast as those in the temperate regions.

According to a new study, published last week, there’s a 71 percent chance that the global polar bear population will fall by over 30 percent in the next three decades.

The only hope for the polar bear is to reduce carbon emissions, in the hope that the runaway pace of Arctic warming will eventually stabilize and reverse. It’s a dire situation, which is forcing people like Derocher to consider extreme solutions—like feeding the surviving bears…

Read Full Article, The Atlantic (12-16-2016)

Polar Bears Shifting to Areas with More Sea Ice, Genetic Study Reveals; USGS (01-06-2015)
Scientists from around the Arctic have shown that recent generations of polar bears are moving towards areas with more persistent year-round sea ice…

Stranded Polar Bears at Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska; Guardian UK (11-21-2011)
Possibly hundreds of bears are becoming stranded on the coastal plain of North Alaska, because they cannot reach the retreating sea ice. Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander, captured shots of stranded polar bears as part of “70° North”, a multimedia project documenting the impact of climate change and resources exploration in the Arctic…

Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Declined in the 2000s; USGS (11-18-2014)
Scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent…

Save The Arctic Video, Greenpeace; Greenpeace (09-01-2012)
Greenpeace, Jude Law, Radiohead and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are coming together to demand we save the Arctic from oil drilling, industrial fishing and militarization…

Saving Mexico’s endangered sea turtles will be good for tourism too

turtles-2
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Seven of the world’s eight sea turtles species nest on the beaches of Mexico – undertaking the serious business of reproduction in 17 of the country’s 32 states. That means 53% of Mexican national territory, which is flanked by both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is home to sea turtles.

But in a country with one of the world’s most extensive shorelines, nesting beaches for turtles are disappearing. Climate change, human development, and the complex interaction between the two are to blame…

Read Full Article, Huffington Green (10-27-2016)

Stealing Turtle Eggs Got People Shot, But The Thievery Continues; National Geographic Video (12-08-2015)

Sea Turtle Eggs Have Turned Beach into a Battleground, ABC News (11-08-2015)

Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care (07-29-2011)

Sea Turtles Face Plastic Pollution Peril; Guardian UK (10-09-2015)
A new global review that set out to investigate the hazards of marine plastic pollution has warned that all seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans, and nesting beaches…

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

Largest Turtle Breeding Colony in the Atlantic Discovered; Science Daily (06-04-2015)
A huge ground survey covering nearly 600 km of Gabon’s coastline has uncovered the largest breeding colony of olive ridley turtles in the Atlantic…

World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales – and it’s not Whaling

whales-california
Photo source: ©© Mike Baird

Excerpts;

Every two years, governments from across the globe gather to debate the fate of the world’s whales. And every two years, Japan, Norway and Iceland find themselves in the firing line for their refusal to end commercial whaling.

This week at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia will be no different. But while the divisive debate on whaling rages, the IWC has the chance to unite behind efforts to tackle the most immediate 21st century threat to whales – bycatch.

It is scarcely believable but accidental entanglement in fishing gear – or bycatch – kills over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) every year. And that’s a conservative estimate based on data from 2008. No one knows the real figure but it far outstrips the less than 2,000 whales that are deliberately hunted and killed for commercial purposes each year…

Read Full Article, 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…

Fish Poachers Push Endangered Porpoises to Brink; Yale E360 (03-05-2016)

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

People Power Wins: Super Trawler Banned, Australia, Greenpeace (09-12-2012)

Overfishing is as big a threat to humanity as it is to our oceans; Guardian UK (02-16-2016)

Sonic Sea, Film Documentary; NRDC May 19th, 2016
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. “Sonic Sea” is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution…

A Turtle Saver, NC

sea-turtles
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Sea turtles that nest in North Carolina are listed as endangered species in part because many beaches have become dangerous or undesirable places for nesting.

One of the biggest issues is light pollution…

Trash, debris and holes left on the beach pose a danger to sea turtles, as they can block the path of both mothers and babies trying to get to and from the ocean. Turtles can also ingest the plastic, which has devastating effects…

Read Full Article, Coastal Review Online (07-29-2016)

Coastal Light Pollution Disturbs Marine Animals, New Study Shows; University of Exeter (04-29-2015)
Marine ecosystems can be changed by night-time artificial lighting according to new research. The results indicate that light pollution from coastal communities, shipping and offshore infrastructure could be changing the composition of marine invertebrate communities…

Florida beaches are becoming darker, and that’s good for sea turtles (01-29-2016)
Newly published research confirms that the density of sea turtle nests on Florida beaches is reduced where artificial lights along the coast deter nesting females. The data also show that the network of sea turtle-friendly lighting ordinances along Florida’s coast seems to be working…

Light Pollution Deters Nesting Sea Turtles, LiveScience (06-09-2013)
Light pollution along the Mediterranean is changing the nesting habits of sea turtles in Israel, according to new research…