ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2010) — A few years ago, right whales began washing up on the shores of Argentina's Patagonian coast. So far, researchers have counted a total of 308 dead whales since 2005.
These right whales in the waters around Peninsula Valdés are amidst the largest die-off of great whales ever recorded. Whatever is killing them remains unknown
read the rest at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 163450.htm What is happening? Is Mother Nature and Earth giving us a heads up??
The world's oceans are now so filled with noise that whales and other marine mammals are dying, biologists say. Britain's Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WCDS) is launching a campaign, Oceans of Noise, to tackle what it says is the increasing problem of noise pollution underwater, the BBC reported.
Main sources of undersea noise are the search for oil and gas and the use of low-frequency military sonars, the report said.
The WDCS is suggesting an action plan to regulate submarine noise pollution, and says it may be time for a global treaty to tackle the problem.
It says there is evidence that noise is causing hearing loss in whales, dolphins and porpoises, injuring them and causing them to strand themselves, and is sometimes killing them.
It also believes excessive noise is seriously interfering with the creatures' ability to communicate with one another.
The WDCS explains that the frequency ranges of some noise sources of human origin may be blotting out other, biologically important sounds, preventing mothers and calves from staying in touch and masking sound cues for predators and their prey.
'Flight, avoidance or other changes in behaviour have been observed in cetaceans from tens to hundreds of kilometres from the noise sources,' it said.
'It has even been suggested that the abilities of the great whales to communicate with each other across entire ocean basins have now been reduced by orders of magnitude.'
The International Whaling Commission said in July there was 'compelling evidence' that entire populations of marine mammals were at potential risk from increasingly intense man-made underwater noise.
Its scientific committee said low-frequency ambient marine noise levels had risen in the northern hemisphere by two orders of magnitude over the last 60 years, the BBC reported.
The WDCS cites the expansion of oil and gas exploration into the deep seas and the resulting growth in seismic testing to find fossil fuel deposits as one source of pollution.
Shipping is another.
'Large vessels are typically loud vessels and the increase in traffic has actually fundamentally changed the noise profile of the world's oceans,' it said.
It noted too that the use of powerful sonar systems by some of the world's navies was making the seas noisier.
The WDCS action plan includes a proposal for an international treaty to regulate marine noise pollution, and for an independent body to undertake research.
Similiar Stories in the earthdive news database:
23 September 2004: Shark nets threaten whales
Australian bathers have become ensnared in an environmental tangle -- the nets that protect them from sharks pose a threat to a growing whale population. Save the whales, cry some wildlife campaigners. Save the humans, counters the government.
14 August 2004: Russia Venture Vows to Protect Rare Whales
A Royal Dutch/Shell -led group developing oil and gas fields in the Russian far east moved to assure worried ecologists on Friday it is doing all it can to protect rare gray whales living in the coastal waters.
11 August 2004: After mass stranding, 7 dolphins cling to life
SARASOTA - Inside a circular 50,000-gallon rehabilitation tank at Mote Marine Laboratory, four rough-toothed dolphins glided swiftly through the water, offering proof of their reputation as powerful swimmers. A few feet away, in an identical tank, three others barely moved, floating near the top of the water. "These guys are the sickest, more lethargic and slower moving right now," said Tonya Clauss...
08 August 2004: Noise a killer for whales
The sight of a pod of whales washed up on a beach and slowly dying is one of nature's more heart-rending spectacles - and most baffling. Scientists have struggled for years to find reasons for the mass deaths, and suggested causes include group suicide and parasite infection of the mammal's sensory organs.
31 July 2004: Hundreds of dolphins off coast
One of the largest dolphin gatherings ever seen in British waters is thrilling tourists in Pembrokeshire. Onlookers estimates up to 300 dolphins have gathered near the Skomer Island marine nature reserve off the coast. Experts are baffled as to why there are so many or why they have ventured so close to the shore.
30 July 2004: Killer whales spotted off north coast
Killer whales have been spotted in the waters off the north Antrim coast. Several sightings of the marine mammal have reported in the sea near Portrush during the past few months. And last year five killer whales were spotted less than 50 yards offshore near the popular tourist resort.
10 July 2004: Whales die in mass beaching
Fifty-four whales were found dead after beaching themselves on the Northern Territory coast of Australia. The pilot whales ranged from newborns to 4.2 m adult males. Their bodies covered more than 150m of the beach. It is the largest whale stranding recorded in the Territory.
09 July 2004: Iceland Kills 25 Whales for 'Scientific Whaling'
Iceland has met this year's self-imposed quota for "scientific whaling," after killing 25 minke whales around its coast. Since the resumption of whaling in 2003, Iceland has killed 61 whales. "We are happy that Iceland did not follow its original research plans to kill 500 whales in 2003 and 2004. We sincerely hope this signals that whaling will soon come to an end, once and for all," said Della Green...
06 July 2004: Humpback whales return to Cook Strait
The number of humpback whales migrating through Cook Strait appears to be recovering from the days of commercial whaling. Preliminary results from the first systematic whale survey conducted in Cook Strait since the Tory Channel whaling station closed in 1963 report 53 whales seen by a research team or others.
- Related topics
- Last post