Dead whales feed other animals


This video says about itself:

Dead Whale Carcass Feast – Blue PlanetBBC Earth

26 February 2017

In Alaska, humpback whales feed on plankton in the shallow water. When one whale perishes in the treacherous waters, scavengers on the coastline such as black bears, wolves and gulls feed from the carcass.

This video says about itself:

Sharks Feasting On A Whale Carcass – Blue Planet – BBC Earth

3 March 2017

Rare footage of Sleeper Sharks, Hagfish and a whole succession of deep sea scavengers feasting on the carcass of a 30 tonne Grey Whale.

Humpback whale in Dutch harbour


This video is called Two Beautiful Humpback Whales Dance – Animal Attraction – BBC.

Dutch NOS TV reports that today a humpback whale swims in the navy harbour in Den Helder.

According to SOS Dolfijn, the whale appears to be healthy and will probably find its way back to sea.

Whales, seals feed on Antarctic krill


This video says about itself:

10 February 2017

Fur seals and whales feast on billions of krill. A chance to see fantastic images of the most abundant whales in the Southern Oceans, Minke Whales, and the awe-inspiring Humpback Whales that also visit the freezing Southern Seas in the summer.

‘EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS’ OF TOXIC POLLUTANTS FOUND IN DEEPEST PARTS OF WORLD’S OCEANS “The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, reportedly provides the first evidence that man-made pollutants have reached the planet’s most far-off areas, according to those behind the research.” [HuffPost]

New Zealand pilot whales stranding


This video says about itself:

400+ Pilot whales stranded! Farewell Spit New Zealand

10 February 2017

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to help the remaining living whales. Of course I brought my camera gear to make a movie. It was an extremely sad experience.

As 200 More Whales Are Stranded In New Zealand, Heroics Turn To Heartbreak. February 11, 201710:00 AM ET: here.

Refloated whales beach themselves again as volunteers hold vigil at Farewell Spit. 5:00 AM Sunday Feb 12, 2017: here.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Cetacean tragedy

Saturday 11th February 2017

Fighting today to save the whales, PETER FROST reports on the overnight news from New Zealand where yesterday more than 400 pilot whales came ashore in a mysterious mass stranding

THIS morning local people, vets, conservation volunteers and whale enthusiasts are fighting to save the lives of at least a hundred pilot whales stranded on the ironically named Farewell Spit at the most northern point of New Zealand’s South Island.

More than 400 whales beached themselves here yesterday and three quarters have already died on the beach in what authorities are describing as one of the worst whale beachings they have ever seen. The area seems to confuse whales and has been the site of many previous mass strandings.

New Zealand Department of Conservation (DoC) community ranger Kath Inwood told us that about 300 volunteers had joined conservation workers on the beach today. She said they had refloated the whales at high tide and had formed a human chain to try to prevent them from swimming back ashore.

She said that yesterday volunteers had tried to keep the surviving whales damp and cool by placing blankets over them and dousing them with buckets of water as they waited for the tide to rise. The high tide allowed volunteers one last chance to help the whales before darkness put an end to yesterday’s rescue efforts.

Dawn today saw the volunteers back in action. Ms Inwood said whale strandings occur most years at Farewell Spit, but the scale of this stranding had come as a shock.

Andrew Lamason, the DoC’s regional manager, said it was one of the largest mass beachings recorded in New Zealand.

He said the surviving whales are “being kept cool, calm and comfortable” by volunteers on the beach.

Some of the refloated whales tried to swim back to shore, and the human chain was trying to herd them out to deeper waters, said volunteer Ana Wiles. “We managed to float quite a few whales off and there were an awful lot of dead ones in the shallows so it was really, really sad.”

“One of the nicest things was we managed to float off a couple [of whales] and they had babies and the babies were following,” Ms Wiles added.

New Zealand marine mammal charity Project Jonah which is leading efforts to save the whales told us a total of 416 whales had stranded and most were dead when they were discovered.

Scientists do not know what exactly causes whales to beach themselves.

But it sometimes happens because the whales are old and sick, injured, or make navigational errors particularly along gentle sloping beaches.

Sometimes when one whale is beached, it will send out a distress signal attracting other members of its pod, who then also get stranded by a receding tide.

One theory of the cause of the latest beaching is that the whales’ echo-location systems have been disrupted by joint US and New Zealand naval exercises involving experimental seismic equipment. Authorities have been quick to deny any connection with the mass stranding.

Professor Liz Slooton, of the University of Otago’s department of zoology, told the New Zealand Herald there was a wide range of causes for whale strandings. She said: “Whales may beach themselves because they were sick, dying, giving birth or disoriented.

“While natural causes such as earthquakes and storms could be a factor, human causes, including noise, may lead to a whale beaching itself.”

Slooton added that it was remotely possible but unlikely seismic testing had caused the mass stranding.

Farewell Spit has been described as a whale trap. It has a long protruding coastline and gently sloping beaches that seem to make it difficult for whales to navigate away from once they get close.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of whale strandings in the world, and this weekend’s event is the nation’s third-biggest ever recorded. The largest was in 1918, when over a thousand pilot whales came ashore on the Chatham Islands.

Many of these incidents happen at Farewell Spit. Experts say its shallow waters seems to confuse whales and hinder their ability to navigate.

In February 2015 about 200 whales beached themselves here, of which at least half died.

The Pilot Whale

PILOT whales fall into two species, the long-finned and the short-finned. The two are not readily distinguishable at sea.
Analysis of the skulls at autopsy is the best way to accurately distinguish between the species.

Size and weight depend on the species. Long-finned pilot whales are generally larger than short-finned pilot whales.

Adults can reach a body length of approximately 21 feet, with males being three feet longer than females.

Their body mass reaches up to 1,300kg in females and up to 2,300kg in males.

Female pilot whales are one of the few mammals besides humans who have a menopause.

Pilot whale mass stranding in New Zealand


This video says about itself:

Rescuers and volunteers were racing to save hundreds of pilot whales in New Zealand’s picturesque Golden Bay on Friday (February 10), after one of the country’s largest recorded mass whale strandings.

Up to 300 whales have died and volunteers are trying to send more than fifty more back out to sea, while trying to keep them as comfortable as possible, local media reported.

Many volunteers have come from around the area to help the stranded whales in whatever way they can.

“It’s amazing, I mean there are people from all over the world, anyone who … has heard about this has just come over. We brought three hitchhikers who just said they wanted to come here and do whatever they could,” said one volunteer.

“Yeah, the water is cold but it’s fine, it’s good to be here and help,” added another.

A conservation department worker noticed the whales washed ashore on Thursday (February 9) evening, but the government agency decided against a night rescue effort for fear volunteers would be injured by the whales in the darkness.

“Yeah, this is third largest mass stranding that we have recorded in our history and so it’s a very large one, logistically it’s a massive undertaking. The whales started stranding last night at around about 10 o’clock last night, we were notified of that and then this morning when they went out and checked on them most of the whales were already dead,” said Auckland University Marine Biologist, Rochelle Constantine.

Local media reported on Friday that volunteers had managed to refloat some of the whales during high tide, but most were quickly restranded as the tide ebbed.

It is New Zealand’s largest known whale stranding since 1985 when 450 were stranded in Auckland.

Whales often get stuck at Golden Bay, a remote but popular holiday area at the top of New Zealand’s south island. The bay’s shallow waters make it difficult for whales to return to deeper water, according to marine life rescue organization Jonah Watch.

Humpback whale jumps, video


This video says about itself:

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Castricum aan Zee, The Netherlands

26 January 2017

In this 27 January 2017 video, a whale researcher speaks about this jumping humpback whale.

Dwarf sperm whale, first time in Belgium


This 2015 video is about the various sperm whale species.

Dutch news agency ANP reports that for the first time ever a dwarf sperm whale was seen off the Belgian coast. It was photographed on 22 January 2017 off Oostende.