Pygmy sperm whale saved in South Africa

This video is called Professor Malcolm Clarke talks about his research into Pygmy Sperm Whales.

From the Cape Times in South Africa:

Rare pygmy sperm whale helped back to sea

21 January 2009, 11:20

By Caryn Dolley

She was “quite distraught” and thrashed around, apparently too terrified to accept the help being offered – the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) eventually had to load her on to a boat and give her a ride to safety.

But this was no ordinary rescue. It took the NSRI and CapeNature more than three hours to free the “very rare” 200kg pygmy sperm whale which got stranded at Stilbaai.

The mission is making waves in marine circles, with scientists from as far as New York contacting the Stilbaai NSRI to find out more.

March 2009. Following on from 2 recent mass stranding in Tasmania, some 80 false killer whales and bottlenose dolphins have stranded in Hamelin Bay, south-west of Margaret River. Latest reports are that only 25 of the false killer whales have been found alive. Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) staff and volunteers are currently working to stabilise the 25 false killers whales that remain alive: here.

6 thoughts on “Pygmy sperm whale saved in South Africa

  1. Apr 3, 6:31 AM EDT

    Study: False killer whales declining off Hawaii

    Associated Press Writer

    HONOLULU (AP) — The population of false killer whales in waters close to Hawaii appears to have dramatically declined over the past 20 years, a new study says.

    It’s not known for sure why the dolphin species is decreasing, but the academic paper says the reason likely has to do with declining food supplies and how the mammals are getting caught and injured on the longline fishing lines that stretch as many as 50 miles long from some commercial fishing vessels.

    The report’s publication in this month’s edition of Pacific Science comes weeks after environmental activists sued the federal government for allegedly failing to prevent longline fishing fleets from accidentally capturing the animals off Hawaii.

    False killer whales can grow as long as 16 feet and weigh over one ton. They look like killer whales, but they’re almost completely black instead of black and white.

    They’re found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide, including Maryland, Japan, Australia and Scotland.

    Robin Baird, one of the study’s co-authors, estimates about 120 false killer whales currently live in waters up to 60 miles off Hawaii’s coasts.

    Researchers who conducted an aerial survey of waters up to 34 miles offshore in 1989 counted 470 individuals in one group of false killer whales. They also found groups of 380 and 460 individuals.

    In contrast, researchers saw no false killer whales during aerial surveys of the same area in 2000 and 2003.

    Baird, a marine biologist with Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, Wash., said several surveys analyzed for the paper don’t say much about the false killer whale population when viewed individually. But taken together the data make a convincing case, he said.

    The data “came together to present really a much more alarming picture,” he said.

    Baird suspects a combination of longline fishing, declining prey, and environmental toxins are hurting the dolphins.

    False killer whales tend to get caught by longline fishing because they eat the fish fishermen have snagged for human consumption: yellowfin tuna, mahimahi, and ono.

    The dolphins also have less food to eat because heavy fishing by humans has depleted stocks of yellowfin tuna and other fish they like, including mongchong, albacore tuna and swordfish.

    On the Net:

    Pacific Science:

    Cascadia Research Collective:


  2. Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Feds to reduce Hawaii false killer whale bycatch

    Associated Press

    HONOLULU — The federal government is forming a group that will think of ways to prevent the accidental snagging of a rare dolphin species by the Hawaii-based longline fishery.
    The American Red Cross

    The National Marine Fisheries Service said Tuesday it’s establishing a Take Reduction Team that will develop a plan to reduce the bycatch of false killer whales.

    The agency’s Federal Register notice says the fishery is accidentally killing or seriously injuring an average of 7.4 false killer whales each year in waters off Hawaii.

    This exceeds the number — 2.5 per year — that the population may lose without suffering effects to its ability to sustain itself.

    Fishermen, marine mammal biologists, environmental activists and government officials are expected to join the team.


  3. ‘False killer whale’ for endangered list

    November 17 2010 at 10:05am

    Honolulu – The federal government is recommending that a small population of dolphins living near Hawaii be placed on the endangered species list.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service said on Tuesday it’s identified 29 threats to the population’s survival.

    The agency is due to post its recommendation in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

    The species is called the “false killer whale” even though it’s a dolphin and doesn’t look like a killer whale.

    An agency study published in August says the small population is in danger of inbreeding and of getting caught on fishing lines.

    False killer whales are found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. But scientists estimate only about 150 or 170 live in waters up to 140km off Hawaii. –



  4. Pingback: Pygmy sperm whale beaches in Cayman islands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Pygmy sperm whale rescued in Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Pygmy sperm whale beaches in Cayman islands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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