Posted by: The ocean update | October 1, 2016

Baby whale rescued in La Union (Philippines)

rescue-baby-pygmy-sperm-whale-philippinesOctober 1st, 2016 (Jun Elias). SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A female baby pygmy sperm whale, more than six feet long with 45 inches body circumference  and weighing at least 100 kilos, was found stranded yesterday morning at the shoreline of Barangay Carlatan here. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 30, 2016

Chinese want Namibia’s sea creatures

Credit : Wkipedia

Credit : Wkipedia

September 30th, 2016 (Adam Hartman). THE fisheries ministry is mulling over an application by a Chinese company which wants to capture live Namibian marine mammals for export to China for breeding. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 30, 2016

Fishermen rescue humpback whale in southwest N.B. (Canada)

fishermen-disentangle-whaleSeptember 30th, 2016. It’s been a long week for a couple of Bay of Fundy fishermen that rescued a humpback whale that got trapped inside their wEIR nets.

“It doesn’t look stressed or anything,” said fisherman Chuck Breen. “It’s being forced-fed right now. The weir is catching fish and it’s happy to eat. But if you do the wrong thing and it does get stressed, what do you do then. We’re in a small boat, it’s a 30 ton animal.” Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 29, 2016

Study suggests commercial fishing depletes key nutrients in coral reefs

Soft coral under Goff’s Caye, a small island near Caye Caulker in Belize. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Soft coral under Goff’s Caye, a small island near Caye Caulker in Belize. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

September 29th, 2016 (Mike Gaworecki). In coral reef ecosystems, fish typically constitute a substantial portion of living biomass and thus represent an important reservoir of nutrients. So it makes sense that the removal of biomass via fishing impacts the nutrient capacity of coral reefs. A new study examines how drastic those impacts are. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 29, 2016

Whale disentangles itself from bait traps off California coast (USA)

Dana Point Whale Watching Captain Frank Brennan captured drone footage of a whale, believed to be Scarlet, swimming free and clear of any ropes. (Dana Point Whale Watching via Storyful)

Dana Point Whale Watching Captain Frank Brennan captured drone footage of a whale, believed to be Scarlet, swimming free and clear of any ropes. (Dana Point Whale Watching via Storyful)

September 29th, 2016. A humpback whale is now swimming free after disentangling herself from ropes off the coast of California.

The whale, named Scarlet (or CRC-11227), had become entangled in bait traps and fishing line off Dana Point, Calif sometime in August. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials were working to locate and rescue Scarlet for up to a month without success. Read More…

September 29th, 2016. WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released a draft environmental impact statement that concludes seismic surveys for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico would cause significant harm to marine mammals. The long-awaited review comes in response to a court-ordered settlement of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups.

The analysis finds that as many as 31.9 million marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico will be injured and harassed by oil and gas seismic surveys. This includes 80 percent of the Gulf’s endangered sperm whale population, estimated at 763 animals. Sperm whales will experience as many as 760,000 harassing exposures to airgun blasting over the next decade.

The draft estimates that seismic blasting would cause as many as 588 injuries to the Gulf’s Bryde’s whales — of which only 33 individuals remain — or about 17 times for each member of this imperiled population.

“For years, industry has been allowed to blast away without permits, without authorizations, and without thought about how its activities are degrading the already beleaguered Gulf,” said Michael Jasny, director of NRDC’s Marine Mammal Protection Project. “This place is not a sacrifice zone. The federal government finally needs to take action once and for all and not condone this business-as-usual disregard for the health of these waters.”

Seismic exploration surveys use extensive arrays of high-powered airguns to search for oil. These generate the loudest human sounds in the ocean short of explosives. The blasts, which can effectively reach more than 250 decibels, can cause hearing loss in marine mammals, disturb essential behaviors such as feeding and breeding over vast distances, mask communications among whales and among dolphins, and reduce catch rates of commercial fish.

The new report finally acknowledges what environmental groups have long warned: that these sonic blasts cause harm to marine mammals. The report estimates that oil and gas seismic surveys will harm whales and dolphins with as many as 4.3 million instances of injury, including permanent hearing loss.

Prior to the lawsuit, the oil and gas industry conducted seismic surveys for decades without the permits required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

“Oil and gas surveys deafen and injure whales, and marine mammals shouldn’t have to endure these seismic assaults. It’s good to finally see an analysis of the airgun blasting after years of industry delays, and we really need to cut oil and gas exploration,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “For the sake of our climate and sensitive marine life, we need to get the oil and gas industry out of oceans.”

The draft report outlines possible mitigation measures, including closure areas where seismic blasting would be banned, and reductions in the amount of activity permissible each year.

“For years we have raised concerns that the sound from oil and gas surveys was injuring the marine mammals of the Gulf,” said Cynthia Sarthou, executive director at the Gulf Restoration Network. “Protection of mammals in the Gulf is even more important now, as many are still recovering from exposure to oil and dispersant from the BP disaster.”

“Flooding the ocean with noise from seismic surveys is a devastating one-two punch for the ocean,” said Steve Mashuda, an attorney with Earthjustice. “At a time when our oceans are already showing the stress of climate change, it just doesn’t make sense to harm whales, dolphins, and other ocean wildlife in service of drilling for more oil we can’t afford to burn.”

The environmental review is open to public comment for 60 days. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit compelling the environmental review include NRDC, the Center for Biological Diversity, Gulf Restoration Network and Sierra Club, and are represented by Earthjustice.

seismic-prospection-gom

More information (source) : Scoping is an integral part of the NEPA process, involving the development of alternatives to be analyzed and an examination of a proposed action and its possible effects, establishing the depth of environmental analysis needed, and determining data requirements and analysis procedures. The public is encouraged to participate and submit comments on the proposed action during the scoping period. Public comments are especially valuable at this early stage regarding the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action.

Contact : boempublicaffairs@boem.gov

Source

Posted by: The ocean update | September 29, 2016

Washed-up carcass is a rare fin whale, says expert (UK)

-September 29th, 2016 (Maxc73). Experts say the carcass washed up on a Devon beach this morning is not a sperm whale as previously thought, but an endangered fin whale – the second-largest animal after the blue whale.

The massive marine mammal – which measures around 50ft – was discovered on Red Rock beach, between Dawlish Warren and Dawlish, this morning. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 29, 2016

Navy gets go-ahead to use sonar harmful to sealife (USA)

Photo © Sandy Dubpernel - May 13, 2003

Photo © Sandy Dubpernel – May 13, 2003

September 29th, 2016 (Marty Graham). “The National Marine Fisheries Service is not doing its job.”

Despite a federal court’s ruling that the National Marine Fisheries got it wrong when the agency decided that the U.S. Navy could use sonar known to harm whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals, the Navy is going to be using that sonar again this year. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 28, 2016

Sound blasts could keep whales away from wind farm construction (Iceland)

Abundance in areas earmarked for wind power. Paul Holman / Alamy Stock Photo.

Abundance in areas earmarked for wind power. Paul Holman / Alamy Stock Photo.

September 28th, 2016 (Laura Hampton). Warning signals that deter minke whales from wind farm construction sites are being tested in Iceland. It’s the first time such acoustic deterrent devices, or ADDs, have been used for this purpose. Read More…

Posted by: The ocean update | September 28, 2016

Common dolphins adapt to bay life (Australia)

The common dolphin is now split into 2 species, but both congregate in great numbers on the world’s oceans, not in enclosed bays. The Melbourne locality, however, is a pleasant location for many people, and a few of these dolphins have settled for an urban life !

The common dolphin is now split into 2 species, but both congregate in great numbers on the world’s oceans, not in enclosed bays. The Melbourne locality, however, is a pleasant location for many people, and a few of these dolphins have settled for an urban life !

September 28th, 2016 (Dave Armstrong). The common short-beaked dolphins, Delphinus delphis, are usually seen offshore, often catching cephalopods such as Cranchids and Histioteuthids, and are so mobile that they also frequent shores in order to find certain fish, just as the inshore bottlenose dolphins do. Read More…

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