Posted by: The ocean update | September 19, 2014

‘Unique’ porpoise washes up on peninsula (New Zealand)

Marine mammal specialists from the University of Otago, Otago Museum and Doc take a look at a spectacled porpoise which washed up on Pipikaretu Beach. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Marine mammal specialists from the University of Otago, Otago Museum and Doc take a look at a spectacled porpoise which washed up on Pipikaretu Beach. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

September 19th, 2014 (Vaughan Elder). Dunedin marine mammal researchers have a new sense of purpose after a rarely seen porpoise washed ashore on Otago Peninsula.

A 2.15m-long male spectacled porpoise, one of the world’s most rarely seen marine mammals, was found on Pipikaretu Beach by Penguin Place guide Tama Taiti on Wednesday morning.

It was taken to the Department of Conservation’s workshop in Kaikorai Valley Rd, Dunedin, and a group of excited marine mammal specialists were invited to view it yesterday morning. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 19, 2014

South Atlantic whale sanctuary rejected at the IWC meeting (Slovenia)

Whales basking along the Uruguayan coast

Whales basking along the Uruguayan coast

September 19th, 2014. The world’s whaling watchdog rejected a bid to expand protection in the South Atlantic. The issue were put to a vote on the closing day of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) 65th meeting in Slovenia.

Japan and other whaling nations prevailed in their opposition to the creation of a sanctuary in the South Atlantic. The proposal needed 75% of votes to pass but got only two-thirds. Forty countries supported the motion, 18 were against and two abstained. Read More…

Casting off : Thousands of Chinese trawlers rush out into the East China Sea at the end of a yearly three-month-long fishing ban designed to allow stocks to recover

Casting off : Thousands of Chinese trawlers rush out into the East China Sea at the end of a yearly three-month-long fishing ban designed to allow stocks to recover

September 19th, 2014. Thousands of Chinese trawlers rushed out into the East China Sea today after a three-month-long summer fishing moratorium ended.

These incredible images of boats setting out from a harbour in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, show just why China harvests more fish than any other country.

Although China has one fifth of the world’s population, it consumes a third of the world’s fish – some 50million tonnes a year. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 18, 2014

Rescuers search for entangled humpback whale off Vancouver Island (Canada)

A humpback whale badly injured and entangled in rope broke free from rescuers near Tofino on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, and headed south. Photograph by : Jim Darling , Victoria Times Colonist

A humpback whale badly injured and entangled in rope broke free from rescuers near Tofino on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, and headed south. Photograph by : Jim Darling , Victoria Times Colonist

September 18th, 2014. A humpback whale tangled so tightly in thick rope that its fins are torn is somewhere along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island in need of help.

“We need to put the word out that if anybody sees it, they call our hotline,” said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal co-ordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This entanglement is almost certainly going to be lethal if nothing is done.” Read More…

Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards said he’s terrified about what the intense sound waves can do to dolphins and endangered North Atlantic right whales, above, of which only 500 remain.

Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards said he’s terrified about what the intense sound waves can do to dolphins and endangered North Atlantic right whales, above, of which only 500 remain.

September 18th, 2014. NAGS HEAD, N.C. — As early as next spring, the boom of seismic cannons will sound under the Atlantic Ocean as the first oil and gas exploration allowed off the East Coast in three decades gets underway.

While federal officials and the oil and gas industry characterize the exploration as benign, Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards said he’s terrified about what the intense sound waves can do to dolphins and endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only 500 remain. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 18, 2014

Oil drilling near Gisborne abandoned (New Zealand)

Photo : PHOTO NZ

Photo : PHOTO NZ

September 18th, 2014. Chief executive Garth Johnson said the oil rig at the Waitangi Valley-1 well encountered gas at a shallow depth under extremely high-pressure, which made continuing very dangerous.

The Canadian-based company was granted consent to drill the exploratory well in May.

Mr Johnson had previously said the potential oil resource in the East Coast region was significant by world standards, with independent estimates of potentially 14 billion barrels of oil. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 18, 2014

Intact colossal squid sliced open (New Zealand)

The colossal squid that have been subjected to analysis. (Phot Credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa YouTube)

The colossal squid that have been subjected to analysis. (Phot Credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa YouTube)

Thusday, September 18th, 2014. A 350-kilogram colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) — which had been caught by Sanford fishing boat San Aspiring in Antarctic waters last summer and kept in a freezer since then — was finally sliced open by a team of researchers from the Te Papa museum, in Wellington.

These scientists — led by Kat Bolstad from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) University and the University of Otago — spent several hours examining and sampling different tissues and discovered the colossal animal is female, has got 35 cm-wide eyes, slightly over 1 m legs and believe its two tentacles would have been perhaps double their length if they had not been damaged, Radio New Zealandinformed. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 18, 2014

Whaling meeting votes against Japan’s hunt (Slovenia)

whaling-1200x750September 18th, 2014. PORTOROZ, Slovenia — An international whaling conference voted today against Japan’s highly criticized plans to resume whaling in the Antarctic next year, but Japan vowed to go ahead anyway.

A resolution adopted at the International Whaling Commission meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia, said Japan should abide by an International Court of Justice ruling that said that its whaling program is illegal because it isn’t for research purposes. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 18, 2014

Answers being sought for whale strandings (New Zealand)

This sperm whale washed up on Ninety Mile Beach, 4km south of Hukatere, on August 13.

This sperm whale washed up on Ninety Mile Beach, 4km south of Hukatere, on August 13.

September 18th, 2014 (Minke Dinsdale). The ear bones from two whales stranded in the Far North are being examined by an expert to see if seismic testing caused the marine mammal deaths (Ed Sibylline : ear bones are not the only ones to be examined ; for example, during the last mass stranding of sperme whales in Italy, the past week, the necropsies revealed massive embolia gaseosa, such those met as a consequence of human activities).

At least four whales have stranded on Far North beaches in the past six weeks, raising concerns from hapu and environmentalists that sonar and seismic surveying for oil and gas off Northland’s west coast could have contributed to the deaths. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 17, 2014

Dead fin whale washes up on beach in Warrnambool, Victoria (Australia)

The dead whale washed up on Levy's Beach on Monday. (Supplied : DEPI)

The dead whale washed up on Levy’s Beach on Monday. (Supplied : DEPI)

September 17th, 2014 (Dan Conifer). A 16-metre-long dead whale has washed up on an isolated beach near Warrnambool, in Victoria’s south-west.

The young female fin whale (Balænoptera physalus), which is estimated to weigh 25 tonnes, was found on Levy’s Beach on Monday and word leaked out about it amongst local residents on Tuesday.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) said it did not inform the public sooner as it was planning its overall response, including managing the scene.

DEPI biodiversity officer Mandy Watson said at this stage the cause of the death was unknown.

“These whales are quite vulnerable to ship strike. They are a surface-feeding whale so they are vulnerable from that point of view, and that is one of the bigger threats to the species,” she said.

“There’s nothing obvious at the moment, but it is washing around in the waves on the shore and it is not easily accessible.”

The department said the whale had not been seen in the area before being discovered on the beach.

DEPI was monitoring the whale’s position, and planned to move it out of the ocean.

“Being such a long animal and being very heavy, it is estimated to be about 25 tonnes, that is going to present some logistical challenges for us,” Ms Watson said.

“DEPI is investigating the possibility of collecting the rare specimen and other options for the carcass.”

Fin whales are a vulnerable species that feed mostly on krill, and can be seen in waters off Portland.

“The species is sometimes observed feeding in the Bonney Upwelling which occurs in southern waters off Portland,” Ms Watson said.

“Nutrient-rich water flowing up from the ocean floor triggers a bloom in phytoplankton which provides food for a whole range of species including krill.”

The department has warned people to stay away from the area, including swimming or surfing at the beach, amid fears the dead whale could increase shark activity.

Source

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 170 other followers