Marine Mammals

Why Are Hundreds Of Dolphins Washing Up Dead On The Beach In France

By Marine Mammals No Comments

We all know fisheries can have a negative effect on other animals as the gear tends to trap the animals, which can lead to injuries and even death. Researchers in France are witnessing the same effect, but at a larger scale as 600 dolphins washed up dead along a beach in France. Researchers believe there are more dolphins dead that sunk to the bottom of the ocean as well.

The dolphins had injuries, missing appendages and scaring along their bodies from fishing gear.

Listen to the episode to find out how the dolphins get trapped and what solutions are being proposed to stop the deaths.

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Why Do Dolphins Swim With Orcas

Why Do Dolphins Swim With Orcas

By Marine Mammals No Comments

Pacific White-Sided Dolphins have been observed swimming with Orcas during monitoring studies using drones. It’s an interesting observation that has resulted in researchers asking the question: Why Do Dolphins Swim with Orcas?

You may think that dolphins swimming with Orcas is normal and it is in a way; however, you must consider the fact that some Orcas prey on dolphins. Yet, dolphins continue to swim with Orcas. So why does this happen?

Take a listen to the episode to find out and share your thoughts in our Facebook Group (it’s free to join):

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4 dolphins dead at dolphinaris arizona

4 Dolphins Dead In 2 Years At Arizona Dolphinarium

By Marine Mammals No Comments

Dolphinariums in North America are thriving. I just came back from a trip the Caribbean where I saw advertisements for “swimming with dolphin” experiences. People flock to these tourism attractions because dolphins are such an iconic species that everyone loves (except some don’t).

We see advertisements for dolphinariums all of the time, but we rarely think about the effect of the facilities on the animals. Dolphins tend to perform and interact with humans most days of the week. The frequent interactions are stressful on the dolphins, where the stress could lead to infections or diseases as the immune system is weakened due to stress (just like in humans). Stress is difficult to noticed and often goes undiagnosed, especially when the animals are the main attraction.

Tourists often don’t realize the stress the animals are under and rarely speak about concern for their health until an animal, or in today’s case, 4 animals die at 1 facility.

Dolphinaris Arizona, a dolphinarium in the desert that opened in 2016, has had 4 dolphin deaths at their facility. Some “experts” are chalking it up as sad while real experts are worried about the stress on the animals.

Listen to the episode to find out how two of the dolphins died and why the facility is temporarily closed. Also find out why experts say the dolphins at this facility were stressed.

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Whale Seaside Sanctuary Could Be Located In Nova Scotia, Canada

By Marine Mammals No Comments

The time of marine mammals in captivity is slowly dwindling. We are seeing people speak volumes with their wallets and actions as they deliberately leave out Sea World and other marine mammal entertainment facilities off of their family excursions thanks to the movie such as Blackfish and the decades of advocacy and science worked to show that marine mammal captivity is bad for their health.

Organizations are now searching for sites they call Whale Seaside sanctuaries as the future home for the retired marine mammals such as orcas, beluga whales, dolphins and more. The next Seaside sanctuary could be located in Nova Scotia according to Change for Animals Foundation. The organization and their partners are currently holding meetings in various towns along the Atlantic Shore.

The sanctuary could provide great economic benefits for the neighboring communities as it would bring jobs to the area as well as the purchase of tons of frozen fish.

This Whale Seaside Sanctuary is targeted for Beluga Whales.

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Elephant Seals Take Over Beach During US Shutdown

Elephant Seals Take Over Beach During US Government Shutdown

By Marine Mammals No Comments

Elephant Seals at Point Reyes National Park decided to take over a beach during the US Government Shutdown when the staff was a third of its regular size. Now the beach is closed down along with some access roads due to the new Elephant Seal pups that were born during the take over time.

The Park staff are ensuring the pups and mother seals are protected during a vulnerable stage of the population’s life cycle in order to have a healthy class of pups for this year.

Park staff use non-invasive techniques to stop the Elephant Seals from taking over the beach when there is a full staff present; however, the shutdown forced the staff to be one third of its normal size leaving access to the beach for the Elephant Seals.

Now the park staff will wait until April for the pups to wean off their mothers and head to the ocean to forage for themselves before the beach opens up to the public.

Listen to the episode for more details.

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Northern Right Whale Calf Spotted

Northern Right Whale Calf Spotted In US Waters

By Marine Mammals No Comments

The Conservation community is feeling optimistic after a Northern Right Whale Calf was spotted in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of St. John’s River along the border of Florida and Georgia. This is great news as this is the first time a Northern Right Whale calf has been spotted in over a year.

A Promising 2018 After A Tough 2017

There were 17 deaths in 2017 (12 in Canada and 5 in the US) due to fishing gear entanglement or ship strikes. Those are not great numbers for the Endangered population as there are an estimated 411 individuals remaining with less than 100 reproductive females.

This past year was better as there were no recorded deaths Northern Right Whales meaning management measures in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence are working.

Not Out Of The Woods Yet

The evidence this new calf brings to the conservation community is terrific; however, the species is not out of the woods yet. Northern Right Whales used to have approximately 20 or more calves per season; therefore, one calf does not show a sustainable population.

The fact remains that the Northern Right Whale population is still prone to ship strikes, fishing gear entanglement and now a new pressure has been thrusted upon them: oil and gas exploration.

The US Government recently approved exploration within the US EEZ that is within the migration route of the Northern Right Whale Migration Route. Oil and Gas exploration includes the use of seismic instrumentation to detect oil pockets below ground at the bottom of the continental shelf. The noise emitted by the seismic surveys are harmful to the hearing of many whales, which can affect their hearing.

Whales rely on their hearing to listen for instructions from the rest of their pods communicating with them for detecting food, danger and other important social cues.

The conservation community is optimistic by this new calf; however, we know that there is still a long way to go to improve the population.

Enjoy the Podcast!!!

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japan Leaves iwc for commercial whaling

Japan Announce Exit From The IWC To Commence Commercial Whaling

By Marine Mammals No Comments

Japan has a long history of commercial whaling that dates back before the World Wars, so it is not surprising that the country wants to continue to whale. The government have gone to great lakes to overturn the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) ban on commercial whaling since it was implemented in 1987 as it threatened to pull out of the IWC multiple times. A few days ago, Japan made good on its promise and announced that it will leave the IWC as a member on June 30th, 2019.

Southern Ocean Whaling Will Stop

The country also announced that it will cease all commercial whaling activity in the Southern Ocean after 30 years of hunting under “scientific research.” The whaling fleet finds it too expensive to keep hunting in the Southern Ocean.

Whaling Within Its Ocean Borders

Japan will continue its commercial whaling practices within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A spokesperson stated that the country will abide by IWC practices and calculations for a sustainable whale populations.

Some Environmental Groups Think This Is Positive

Sea Shepherd Society are pleased with Japan’s decision because now Japan will be exposed for illegally whaling and the International Whaling Commission can put pressure on them; however, I don’t think this will matter much. There is an interesting article they wrote on their blog about the 8 positive things that come out of Japan’s withdrawal from the IWC.

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