Showing posts tagged whale stranding

Pattern Recognition - Mass Fish Kill Roundup - Early May 2011

This just doesn’t stop. I’m past the point of thinking these numbers are “normal” or that they “happen all the time”.  The effects of poisoning, oil spills, climate change in the form of extreme winter conditions, and algal blooms also caused by humans cause this trend to continue.

Fish Kill In Cedar Creek a Mystery - Pennsylvania - May 3rd 2011

Investigators have been unable to determine what killed about 100 fish, mostly trout, in Cedar Creek three weeks ago.

Thousands of dead fish in Pampanga River, Philippines- May 3rd 2011 - cause as yet undetermined, possibly overfishing

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Governor Lilia Pineda on Monday has asked fourth district Provincial Board member Nestor Tolentino investigate the tons of dead fish floating along the Masantol portion of Pampanga River.

Dead Fish in East Lagoon at NIU - Illinois - May 3rd 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Winter Kill in Calburn Lake - Calgary - May 3rd, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Fish and Wildlife Services say that the remaining fish should do well because there will be less competition. “There will be lots of food for them, and they’ll start reproducing as long as we don’t get a number of winter kills. Then they’ll come back on their own,” says Ed Pirogowicz, Fish and Wildlife Officer.

Lakeside NY town hauls away thousands of dead fish - April 27th, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

MORIAH, N.Y. — Crews are cleaning up the thousands of dead fish that have washed up along Lake Champlain’s New York shoreline

Thousands of dead fish wash up on Indian beach - Panaji India - April 30th, 2011 - locals suspect fishermen, but have no fucking clue

PANAJI: The people of Calangute and Candolim witnessed an unusual phenomenon of dead sardines surfacing on the beaches in the area…As the day progressed the dead fish got accumulated in huge numbers.

Huge sperm whale washes up on Sydney beach - Australia - April 29th - cause of death unknown, shark mutilation, but possibly after the death. 

Mystery over death of whale in double stranding - New Zealand - March 5th, 2011 (yeah, I missed this one so it’s late) - cause of death unknown

A blue whale stranded on the Waiinu Beach over the weekend is the first of its kind to be seen on the South Taranaki coastline in 30 years.

Anton van Helden, collection manager of marine mammals at Te Papa, said that, from the pictures he saw, it was incredibly emaciated, which was odd for this time of year.

"It’s quite an unusual occurrence for us to have a baleen type whale," he said. Baleen or whalebone whales were krill feeders who lived in deep ocean areas Mr Campbell said.

Other deep sea whales have been spotted in rare close to shore sightings this year.

Gray and Blue whale migrations patterns deviate this year - Southern California - May 1st 2011 

This final stage of the northbound migration through Southland waters is occurring later than usual and comes during an unseasonably early arrival of blue whales into Southern California waters.

Blue whales are being seen sporadically, as close as a mile from shore to several miles offshore, as they presumably conduct a hunt for vast blooms of shrimp-like krill. The Dana Pride crew has seen krill off Orange County and on Saturday the crew of the Christopher out of Long Beach witnessed a blue whale lunge-feeding at the surface, nine miles from shore.

Male pilot whale dies stranded on Wurtulla beach Australia - April 21st, 2011

Lemming hordes on pace for record migration in Sweden - April 11, 2011

Hordes of lemmings have been spotted leaving the safety of the mountains to make their way down to more inhabited areas, falling victim to traffic and being preyed upon by other animals.

“I must have seen a thousand just since Saturday. They are absolutely everywhere. They are swimming about in the lake close to our house, they jump on the ice floes, and they scurry around the outside of our house,“ said holiday-maker Magnus Lundberg, to the local Östersundsposten (ÖP) daily.

Favourable weather has created the conditions for 2011 to become what Swedes call “a real lemming year”.

According to Bengt Landström of the mountain unit at the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten, this may well be a record year for lemmings…


To read more about mass fish kills and whale strandings  check out my other Round-ups:


Dead whale beached in North Carolina - 3-29-2011

Another dead whale on a beach - One whale is not a big deal. Whales, dolphins, and fish washing up in unprecedented large numbers all over the planet, now that’s a trend. I’ll stop reporting them when it stops happening so often…

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) - A dead endangered whale washed ashore Sunday in Nags Head near Jennette’s Pier.

The whale, a North Atlantic right whale, is a critically endangered species and the most endangered whale, according to Karen Clark with the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

It is believed that there are less than 400 remaining.


Pattern Recognition: “Unprecedented” mass whale, dolphin, and manatee strandings in 2011

So, lots of whale stories coming up recently. This was just reported in.

Today (03/17/11) a POD of about 30 pilot whales has stranded on Tasmania’s South Bruny Island.

The whales are believed to be pilot whales and became stranded late this afternoon.

Department of Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Liz Wren said about 12 of the whales were still alive and Parks and Wildlife are on the beach trying to help the stranded mammals.

On March 10, 2011 a very rare sighting of an entire pod of sperm whales, described as a “once in a lifetime” sighting took place off the coast of California with 14 whales being counted. These bottom feeding whales rarely surface and almost always do so individually.


On February 20, 2011, following the Christchurch earthquake, there was a massive whale stranding of 107 pilot whales on Mason Bay Beach, a remote location on Stewart Island, Rakiura, New Zealand. The animals had to be euthanized because of the remaining length of time until high-tide and the lack of manpower to re-float them.

On November 8, 2010 thirty-three long finned pilot whales beached themselves in Donegal Ireland on Rutland Beach.

After the Irish Rutland beach stranding this report from the  BBC addressed the issue:

Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) data shows there has been a 25% increase in reported strandings since it began keeping records 20 years ago.

At least 500 dolphins, porpoises and whales have been found stranded on British beaches so far this year.

So is the increase in stranding numbers a sign that something disturbing is happening to these sea-going mammals? Ian Enlander director of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Research Group (IWDG) said it was a difficult question to answer. “It may be a sign that awareness of strandings is increasing or perhaps something else is going on. There are sometimes clusters of these events which may be caused by strong weather systems pushing already dead or dying animals towards the shore.

On September 22nd, 2010, an “unprecedented stranding” happened on the coast of New Zealand when 74 whales beached one a 2 km strip of coast. 

The Irish Examiner reports say that an “inexplicable” number of dolphin strandings have happened in January and February of 2011 on the shores of Cork, Waterford and Wexford compared to previous years.

Numbers rise in the US in 2011

Meanwhile, CNN reports that in February 2011 the US sees unprecedented numbers of baby dolphin strandings as well.

Baby bottlenose dolphins are washing up dead in record numbers on the shores of Alabama and Mississippi, alarming scientists and a federal agency charged with monitoring the health of the Gulf of Mexico.

Moby Solangi, the executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) in Gulfport, Mississippi, said Thursday he’s never seen such high death numbers.

"I’ve worked with marine mammals for 30 years, and this is the first time we’ve seen such a high number of calves," he said. "It’s alarming."

Along the Louisiana coast dolphin beachings have increased dramatically in early 2011.

The rate of dolphin strandings on the Louisiana coast has nearly doubled so far in 2011.  Twenty-six strandings have happened since January 1.  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials say typically, six to seven occur per month.

Off the coast of Miami Florida 2011 has also set records for dolphin and manatee deaths:

Near-record numbers of manatees have died in Florida waters in early 2011, the second straight year of above-average deaths, alarming officials who are also puzzled by a surge in dolphin fatalities along the US Gulf Coast.

Of the 163 manatee deaths recorded from January 1 to February 25, 91 of them have been blamed on cold water temperatures off the southern US state, where normally temperate weather draws the protected sea creatures during winter months, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A record 185 manatees died in Florida during the same period last year, according to the commission.

Meanwhile on March 14, 2011, after the Sendai earthquake, thousands of fish crowded the shores in Acapulco Mexico.

For 20 years, Capt. Williams, founder of The Deaf Whale Society, has conducted extensive research on the reasons behind whale strandings. He has been able to successfully predict the time and place of whale beachings after underwater seismic activity.

His theory, best explained here along with how the conclusion was reached and tested, states that whales end up beached after barotrauma resulting from exposure to a series of dangerous pressure changes (seaquakes) generated when a thrusting earthquake erupts in the seabed below the feeding pod.

This theory was bolstered by further evidence released in a report by from Science Daily on US government funded research, recently published in the PLoS ONE journal published by the Public Library of Science, following 2008 accusations of Naval sonar beaching and killing whales. 

"This suggests that beaked whales are particularly sensitive to sound. Their behavior tended to be disrupted at exposure levels around 140 decibels (dB), so they may require a lower threshold than many current regulations that anticipate disruption of behavior around 160 dB,"