10 whales dead after 20 become stranded on Western Isles, Scotland #Whales #WesternIsles #Scotland #UK
When 20 pilot whales became stranded in shallow water off the Western Isles, disaster loomed. There was no one locally who was trained to rescue the stricken creatures and some of their lives were saved only when a quick-thinking South Uist resident phoned a rescue agency for advice on how to refloat them.
Ten whales died, but the others were guided back to open water after a rescue operation was mounted by British Divers Marine Life Rescue helped by islanders.
The incident in June underscored the need for a network of trained rescuers to deal with a rising tide of beachings.
Courtesy of thetimes.co.uk
[Indonesian nature conservation agency (BKSDA) / AFP]
Ten whales were found dead on an Indonesian beach on Thursday, officials said, with images showing locals rushing to push a still-living member of the stricken pod back into the sea.
The marine mammals, ranging from two to six metres (6.5-20 feet) in length, were found in the remote province of East Nusa Tenggara, the head of the region’s water conservation agency Ikram Sangadji told AFP.
Footage showed a group of around 10 men struggling to push an eleventh member of the pod across the baking sands and back into the ocean.
They eventually managed to get the creature – which was scarred with deep cuts – into the water, and it appeared to swim off by itself, prompting loud cheers from the group.
Officials had concluded the stricken pod were likely short-finned pilot whales, Sangadji said.
Short-finned pilots are highly social and are often involved in mass strandings, although scientists are still unclear as to why.
Residents helped dig graves to bury the carcasses of the 10 dead whales, which were lashed with cuts likely caused by the creatures coming into contact with sharp rocks, Sangadji added.
Cross-currents off beaches pose a danger to whales as they can get caught between reefs close to shore.
Last week, a giant 23-metre blue whale washed up near a beach near East Nusa Tenggara’s capital city Kupang.
Seven pilot whales were found dead near Kupang last October.
Courtesy of aljazeera.com
Nine whales found dead off the coast of Norway, from unknown causes. They are four sperm whales and five humpback whales, which appeared lifeless in recent weeks in the north of the country, some on the island of Andøya.
It is not ruled out that it could be due to natural causes, but it is difficult to know, since Norway does not have a systematic plan to investigate such events, due to their high cost.
Local scientists try to discover what happened.
“The whale is a messenger about the health of the sea and what happens in the ecosystem,” said Kathrine Ryeng, a scientist and veterinarian at the Institute for Marine Research.
A cause of death already ruled out for these whales is that they have died from the ingestion of plastics.
Courtesy of es.euronews.com
Eric Lewis, curator of the Moruga museum, stands next to a dead whale which washed up at the La Lune beach in Moruga
A fourth whale beached at La Lune Beach yesterday. It was spotted on the shoreline around 6 am. Residents, game wardens and the police assisted in lifting the whale onto the tray of a pick-up and transporting it to another beach where it was guided back out to sea.
Hours later, at around 4 pm, two dead whales washed ashore at another area of the beach. Then at around 12.30 pm, another dead whale was spotted on the shore about a mile away from where the two other whales beached. Moruga museum curator Eric Lewis has taken possession of the three carcasses.
What exactly is causing the whales to die is not yet known, but the T&T Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TTMMSN) has warned members of the public not to touch the stranded marine mammals. Veterinarian Dr Wade Seukeran said the TTMMSN has responded to reports of stranded melon-headed whales at various coastlines and necropsies performed on some of the whales revealed that they died from a disease.
According to the TTMMSN, marine mammals that wash ashore are typically ill and could be harbouring infectious organisms that may be harmful to humans and other animals.
“Further, it is advised to NOT push, pull or drag live stranded marine mammals back into the water.
“Though well-meaning, this action often does more harm to the animal than good, as such ill animals are predisposed to drowning. The public is therefore again urged to avoid handling and/or consuming marine mammals that wash ashore, as this may pose a significant public health risk,” the TTMMSM said in a release.
Courtesy of guardian.co.tt
Photo: LEIGH-ANN WIIG
The seven whales that survived a grounding at the Matarangi Spit have been shepherded out of the Matarangi Harbour by boats across the bar and out to sea.
A spokesperson from the Department of Conservation said the whales “were seen swimming strongly and being active and it’s hoped they will remain at sea.”
DOC staff are burying the four dead whales above the high tide mark at Matarangi together with local iwi who have worked closely with DOC staff in managing the stranding and refloat.
“We’re asking people in the area to keep an eye out for the refloated whales possibly re-stranding in the next 24 hours or so. If people see any stranded whales please contact DOC’s 24-hour number 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468),” the spokesperson said.
They also expressed thanks to everybody that has helped with the whales on the beach and in successfully refloating them this afternoon.
Earlier, DOC had said seven of the pilot whales stranded on Saturday morning at the Matarangi Spit are being escorted by boats out towards open sea.
“Hopefully the whales will make their way safely out to sea,” a Department of Conservation spokesperson said.
Four whales that died in the stranding are being buried above the high tide mark at Matarangi.
Attempts had been ongoing to move the surviving pod out of the estuary.
The pod became stuck at Matarangi Spit on Saturday and 1000 people, including locals and Department of Conservation staff had been working for hours to rescue them.
On Saturday afternoon a DOC spokesperson said seven whales had been refloated “but the whales have swum into the estuary”.
“Four boats are trying to herd the whales out to sea.”
Two calves were among the group, one of which is also among the deceased.
“DOC staff are leading the stranding response and there are around 1000 people who’ve come to help with the whales,” the spokesperson said.
“At the moment the surviving whales are being cared for on the sand by volunteers who are keeping them comfortable, covering them with sheets with buckets of seawater being gently poured over them to help protect their skin from drying and to keep them cool.”
High tide is due around 2.30pm.
“We do not need more people to assist with the whales. We have plenty of help which we appreciate.”
Courtesy of stuff.co.nz
Twitter Photo: @thiswordistaken
A dead whale has been found in the River Thames for the third time in the past two months.
The marine mammal – believed to be a minke – was spotted swimming up and down the river in London by several members of the public on Friday.
A dog-walker later found it lying motionless in shallow water near Battersea Bridge at around 9.30pm and it was later confirmed dead when a rescue team arrived.
It comes after a humpback whale nicknamed Hessy was found dead in the Thames near Greenhithe on 8 October and a sei whale was found dead in Gravesend on 18 October.
“A whale is very unusual in the River Thames, however we have now had three in the past two months,” said Martin Garside of the Port of London Authority (PLA).
“They are all different species and there is no obvious, simple cause. Hopefully we can learn about what causes it, is it just nature or is there some external reason.’
The PLA will first move the whale to a facility in east London before handing it over to experts at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for a necropsy.
Courtesy of independent.co.uk
Local people recently observe several stranded whales. (Antara/Ampelsa)
Seventeen whales became stranded on Menia Beach in West Sabu, Sabu Raijua regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Thursday with 11 of them dying, possibly from the severe wounds all over their bodies.
“The wounds could have been caused by the corals along Menia Beach,” Sabu Raijua Police chief Comr. Samuel Simbolon told The Jakarta Post, Thursday.
He said the whales were found stranded on the beach at about 1 p.m. local time, promptly attracting locals to see them. Some people went down to the beach to use speedboats to try to help the mammals return to the sea. Others helped recover the dead ones.
Six of the whales could be rescued and returned to the ocean while 11 others did not survive. With the help of locals, the regency’s marine and fishery agency released the six from the shallow water during high tide. They also buried the dead ones.
“We have yet to know why the whales were stranded,” Samuel said, adding that such strandings often took place on Sabu Island. The whales were migrating through the Indian Ocean before they got stranded there.
At least 50 whales were recorded to have become stranded on Sabu Island over the last seven months. In 2012, 44 whales were found stranded along the beach in Deme village, Liae district, Sabu Raijua. Of those 44 whales, 41 did not survive.
Courtesy of thejakartapost.com
Four whales died Saturday after they were found on a beach in South Carolina, officials say.
The group of pilot whales was found stranded on Edisto Beach near access 36 at about 7 a.m. Saturday, and it was unclear how long they had been there, according to WCSC.
Two of the whales were adults, and the other two were juveniles, according to WCSC.
Wildlife experts were called to help the whales, but when they got there one of them was already dead, WCIV reported, and the other three had to be put down.
Courtesy of sacbee.com
Another 15 whales have died along the Georgia coast in the second mass stranding in just over two months.
Courtesy of ajc.com
NOAA / PERMIT 18786
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said two pygmy killer whales were euthanized after stranding this morning on a shore near Sugar Beach on Maui due to illness.
A NOAA team responded early this morning to reports of the two stranded, adult pygmy killer whales. These two whales were part of a pod of six that NOAA had been monitoring at Maalaea Bay since Sept. 13.
They are, however, not the six whales that were refloated back to sea from an earlier Aug. 29 incident, based on dorsal fin identification, according to David Schofield, NOAA’s regional marine mammal response coordinator.
“After veterinary assessment, including blood tests, the whales were humanely euthanized,” NOAA said in a statement. “Their bodies will be flown to Oahu for post mortem examination by the University of Hawaii Stranding Lab. We continue to monitor four other pygmy killer whales that are milling close to shore in the same area.”
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