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Archive for the ‘Endangered Species’ Category

Noise from Oil Exploration, Tourist Boats Kills 150 Whales

Posted by feww on December 28, 2009

Our thanks to TEAA for the links

Noise Pollution from NZ Oil Exploration, Tourist Boats and Toxic Pollution Strand 150 Whales to Their Deaths

Up to 150 whales died in less than 48 hours after two beachings, New Zealand’s  Department of Conservation reported.


Dead whales in Colville Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Photo credit: Sally and Doug Morrison/ The Southland Times. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice.

About 30 pilot whales died after they became stranded on Coromandel peninsula yesterday and will be buried by the local Maori.

Meanwhile, up to 120 long-finned pilot whales, both calves and adults, were found dead  at the Farewell Spit on Boxing Day.

“More offshore wells have been drilled in the last two years than the rest of the decade combined: 35 on and offshore wells were drilled between January 2008 and July 2009 alone,” said a report.


Dead whales lie on the beach at Farewell Spit on New Zealand’s South Island December 28, 2009. More than 100 pilot whales died after being stranded at Farewell Spit, according to local media. The beached whales were discovered by a tourist plane on Saturday. Photo: New Zealand Department of Conservation/Handout via Reuters.

Each year about 2.5 million tourists visit New Zealand, straining its fragile ecosystems to the breaking point, creating a massive litany of different pollutions, including noise.

Mendo Coast Current wrote: “Studies show that these cetaceans, which once communicated over thousands of miles to forage and mate, are losing touch with each other, the experts said at a U.N. wildlife conference in Rome.”

“The sound of a seismic test, used to locate hydrocarbons beneath the seabed, can spread 1,800 miles under water, said Veronica Frank, an official with the International Fund for Animal Welfare. A study by her group found that the blue whale, which used to communicate across entire oceans, has lost 90 percent of its range over the past 40 years.”

Environmental experts are studying numerous cases of beached whales and dolphins that are believed to have been caused by sound pollution, according to Simmonds.

Just two weeks ago at least five whales died after nine were beached in Mediterranean off the  southern coast off Italy, an unusual place for whales to beach themselves.

‘A massive beaching is extremely rare in the Mediterranean,’ biologist Maurizio Wurtz at the University of Genoa said.

Noise pollution from seismic surveys for oil and gas as well as naval activities are believed to have confused whales by interfering  with their communication, thus leaving them stranded and ultimately dead,  many  Conservationists and biologists say.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) says man-made ocean noise inhibits cetaceans’ communication and disrupts their feeding.

The level of ocean noise in some regions is doubling each decade, according to IFAW.  “Humanity is literally drowning out marine mammals.”

[NOTE: We are also reminded that Coromandel peninsula is the same area where NZ Public Medical Office of Health reported “particularly high” levels of paralytic shellfish poison. See: Toxic shellfish from New Zealand can cause paralysis and respiratory failure within 12 hours of being consumed.  http://newzeelend.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/global-food-safety-alert-toxic-nz-shellfish-warning/ ]

Related Links:

Posted in eco-terrorism, Endangered Species, ocean, Ocean Acidity, Seismic Surveys | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Palin Told to Quit!

Posted by feww on July 4, 2009

Palin resigned as Alaska’s governor

Palin’s position became untenable when she failed to block beluga whale being listed as endangered species

See: Palin Fails to Block Beluga Whale Protection

palin - Robert DeBerry - AP
Sarah Palin announced her resignation as Alaska governor in Wasilla. Photo: Robert DeBerry/AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Sarah Palin has resigned as Alaska’s governor.

“We know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities,” she said.

Palin will transfer authority to her deputy, lieutenant governor Sean Parnell by end of July 2009.

Palin was NOT expected to win the next gubernatorial election in Alaska due in 2010.

Related Links:

Posted in big oil, Endangered Species, moose, polar bear, Sean Parnell | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bering Sea Drilling

Posted by feww on April 9, 2008

Government seeks comment on possible Bering Sea drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service on Tuesday announced it is launching an environmental review of possible offshore oil and gas drilling in the salmon-rich area of Bristol Bay, where energy exploration was temporarily banned following the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

The area is also home to the world’s biggest sockeye salmon runs and a plethora of marine life, including some of the last known eastern Pacific right whales, a critically endangered species. Full report

Satellite image of the Yukon Delta and Bering Sea. This is how the Big Oil and media would like you to see the area: Alien, Icy, lifeless!


The Yukon Delta (Center) and Bering Sea (Left) image taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite March 8, 2004. (REUTERS/MODIS Rapid Responce Team/NASA-GSFC RCS)

Teeming with Life: Closeups of Yukon Delta and Bering Sea


“Rock Sandpipers drop from the air and into a roost along the shores of the Bering Sea, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Shorebirds form roosts as the tide rises. Once the tide drops and foraging sites are once again exposed, the roost disperses.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)

They can gain protection from aerial predators by forming large flocks, but they don’t stand a chance against the Big Oil!


“A flock of Dunlin wheels past at Egegik Bay, Alaska. These small shorebirds gain protection from aerial predators by forming large flocks.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)


“Recently hatched Rock Sandpiper chicks, St. Matthew Island, Alaska. Most shorebird chicks exit the nest quickly after hatch and begin to feed themselves, relying on parents for frequent brooding. Their coloration allows them to blend into their tundra surroundings, escaping the detection of predators.” (Photo Credit: USGS, Alaska Science Center)


The Pribilof Islands provide breeding grounds for more than two-thirds of the world’s northern fur seals. (Image and caption courtesy of USGS).

The Pribilof Islands are in the Bering Sea, approximately 770 mi west-southwest of Anchorage and 250 mi north of the Aleutian Islands. Approximately 3 million seabirds nest on the islands, and nearly 1 million northern fur seals—about 70 percent of the world’s northern-fur-seal population—migrate there each year to breed. Other animals on the islands include arctic foxes and herds of reindeer. (Photo courtsey of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration; caption courtesy of USGS.)


Common Murres at breeding sites on Bogoslof Island in 1999. Murres (including Thick-billed Murres) are excellent subjects for studies of food stress: They are numerous, relatively easy to capture and breed widely throughout the Bering Sea. Both species have declined markedly at some colonies in the Bering Sea since the 1970’s. (Photos and captions courtesy of ABSC USGS).

Black-legged and Red-legged Kittiwake breeding colony on Bogoslof Island. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is monitoring breeding success and chick growth rates at nest sites on Bogoslof and the Pribilof islands. (Photo and caption courtesy of ABSC USGS).


The sea otter is the keystone species for the nearshore marine environment. Sea otter populations are in decline both in California and Alaska, and the California population is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (Photo and caption courtesy of USGS, Santa Cruz Field Station).

Posted in Bristol Bay, Endangered Species, energy, environment, Exxon Valdez, Pacific, politics, Shell, whales | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Fish Farming: The Hazards, Environmental Impacts

Posted by feww on January 8, 2008

Fish, Antibiotics, Pesticides, Toxic Materials

Has the state of the fish farms improved or deteriorated in the past five years since the following report was released?

“The idea that farmed salmon is good for the environment is a myth, the groups said. They pointed out that a typical salmon farm, which packs hundreds of thousands of fish into an array of sea cages moored just offshore, discharges a wide range of pollutants into fragile ecosystems in places such as Downeast Maine. Over the years, these pollutants have included: antibiotics, pesticides, toxic materials used to coat the cages, thousands of tons of fish waste products, and escaping farm-bred fish themselves, which threaten the survival of wild salmon because they can interbreed and spread disease and parasites. Maine’s wild Atlantic salmon were placed on the federal Endangered Species List in November 2000.”

Full Report:
Groups Call For Action To End Environmental Abuses By Salmon Farming Industry

Posted in antibiotics, Endangered Species, Environmental Impacts, farmed salmon, pesticides, Pregnant Women, toxic materials | 2 Comments »