Posted by: The ocean update | July 31, 2014

Meeting on mitigating blue whale ship-strikes in Sri Lankan waters

blue-whale-tail-Sri-LankaJuly 31st, 2014. The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies hosted a meeting on ​23rd July on ​mitigating blue whale ship strikes in Sri Lankan waters. This meeting, spearheaded by Dr. Asha de Vos, Marine Biologist and Founder of the Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project and member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 30, 2014

Dead whale floats in at naval base (California, USA)

Contributed photo/Naval Base Ventura County This whale carcass floated into port at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme overnight Tuesday.

Contributed photo/Naval Base Ventura County This whale carcass floated into port at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme overnight Tuesday.

July 30th, 2014 (John Scheibe). PORT HUENEME, Calif. – The body of a 40-foot whale floated into the port at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme overnight Tuesday, authorities said Wednesday.

Authorities suspect the animal is a finback whale. When fully grown, finback whales can reach nearly 90 feet in length, making them the second-longest animal in the world. The species is listed as endangered, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The whale appeared to have been dead for some time and may have been struck by a ship, Kimberly Gearhart, a public affairs officer with the base, said Wednesday afternoon. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 30, 2014

Banner year for gray whale calf production (Baja Calfornia, Mexico)

NOAA Fisheries scientists scan the water for gray whale cows and calves from the field station at Piedras Blancas, CA. Photo : NOAA

NOAA Fisheries scientists scan the water for gray whale cows and calves from the field station at Piedras Blancas, CA. Photo : NOAA

July 30th, 2014 (Anna). NOAA Fisheries scientists keep track of how many gray whale calves are born every winter, and it appears that this was a banner year for calf production.

Every fall Gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to their breeding and calving grounds in lagoons off Baja, California, in Mexico. Every spring, they turn around and make the reverse trip. And every year, NOAA Fisheries scientists stand on the beach in California Read More…

North Uist : Killer whale washed up on beach.

North Uist : Killer whale washed up on beach.

July 30th, 2014. A six metre long killer whale has washed up on an beach in the Outer Hebrides.

The orca was spotted partially buried in sand on a beach at Baleshare on North Uist on Monday.

The whale is believed to belong to the UK’s only native pod.

Artist Jac Volbeda, 59, said the killer whale was still fresh when he found it a few kilometres from his B&B. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 29, 2014

Animals From Space : Polar Bears, Penguins Tracked Via Satellite

Researching species via satellite can be cheaper, easier, and more accurate.

Brown smudges show an emperor penguin colony at Cape Colbeck, Antarctica, in a 2010 satellite image. SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DIGITALGLOBE, INC.

Brown smudges show an emperor penguin colony at Cape Colbeck, Antarctica, in a 2010 satellite image. SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DIGITALGLOBE, INC.

July 28th, 2014 (Jason Bittel). In the olden days of scientific research, the only way to know how many buffalo roamed the prairie or monkeys bounced around the rain forest was to trek out there and take a head count.

But thanks to advances in satellite imagery, researchers today can take stock of some species without risking a single venomous snakebite or frost-bitten toe.

Take Seth Stapleton, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who published a study this month in PLOS ONE on new ways to spot far-flung polar bears, including leveraging the same satellite Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 29, 2014

115 whales killed as Japan wraps up Pacific hunt

July 29th, 2014. Japan has concluded a two-and-a-half month whale hunt in the Pacific, killing 115 whales.

It is the second campaign since the United Nations’ top court ordered Tokyo to halt a separate hunt in the Antarctic.

The country’s fisheries agency said 90 Sei whales and 25 Bryde’s whales were killed, which is in line with a pre-hunt target.

It said there was no interference from anti-whaling activists who have, at times in the past, regularly disrupted hunts on the high-seas. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 29, 2014

San Francisco woman rescues Salmon shark (California, USA)

Photo by Surbhi Sarna

Photo by Surbhi Sarna

July 29th, 2014. SAN FRANCISCO — Surbhi Sarna knew she had to take action.

The Salmon shark  had beached itself in the shallow waters at San Francisco’s Land End. It was struggling would likely died before wildlife authorities could arrive on the scene. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 29, 2014

Another whale freed from Qld shark nets (Australia)

20140729_WhaleJuly 29th, 2014. At least three whales have been caught in shark nets off the Gold Coast this month, including a humpback freed off Kirra Beach on Tuesday.

A humpback whale has been freed from shark nets off the Gold Coast days after two young whales became trapped in the area. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 28, 2014

Europe’s Largest Whale Museum to Open in Reykjavík (Iceland)

Whales of Iceland.

Whales of Iceland.

July 28th, 2014 (EMILÍA S. ÓLAFSDÓTTIR KAABER). Whales of Iceland, a museum set to open in Reykjavík in mid-August, will be the largest of its kind in Europe. In total there will be 23 to-scale model whales in its main exhibition, representing every kind of whale found off the shores of Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports.

The models were designed and partially constructed in Iceland, while some larger parts were manufactured abroad and recently arrived in 20 separate shipping containers. The complete models are currently being put together at the site of the soon-to-be museum. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | July 28, 2014

Why whale watching isn’t a harmless alternative to whaling

Tourists watching killer whales (Getty/JurgaR)

Tourists watching killer whales (Getty/JurgaR)

Monday, July 28th, 2014. Thanks to the end of commercial whaling late last century, tourists around the world can still enjoy the spectacular sight of whales leaping out of the ocean. However, just because whale watching is better than hunting doesn’t mean it’s harmless, argues Professor James Higham.

Whales and dolphins provide some of the most spectacular sights in nature. Few tourist experiences compare with the flukes of a diving sperm whale, a female grey whale and calf at rest in a sheltered lagoon, Read More…

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