Baleen whales

Dressed in black, bloated with gas & stinks

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Did Kim Dotcom die and wash ashore in Canada?

But I digress. Actually three rotting whale carcasses need disposing of and the Canadians are stuck in a bit of a conundrum as to how to get rid of them.

One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, but a community leader says the hassle of dealing with rotting blue whales on Newfoundland’s west coast is a bigger problem than people may realize.

Two blue whale carcasses washed ashore on the coast of Rocky Harbour and Trout River, both located near Gros Morne National Park. A sperm whale carcass also washed ashore in the Cape St. George area.

The animals died after getting caught in severe ice conditions off the island’s coast this winter.

Maurice Budgell, chair of the King’s Point Heritage Society, which operates the town’s Whale Pavilion, said when his community took on the task of getting the flesh off a humpback whale carcass, it was a bigger job than anyone bargained for, and they’re not interested in doing it again.

“With all of the problems that we had with the one that we have here now, it would be a monstrous job to take on something else like that,” said Budgell.   Read more »

Re-post – Some perspective on Whaling

I originally posted this in 2010. Given the Labour party thinks they speak for all New Zealand upset over a few Minke whales getting harpooned and the fact that the media accept pirates as a valid source of news, I thought I’d repost these rather inconvenient facts that the anti-whaling crowd wouldn’t want you to know.

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The world’s meddlers gnash their teeth over whaling whether it is for scientific purposes or for commercial. Right now the moratorium on commercial whaling isn’t working and just over 1500 whales were harvested last year in whaling activities and 31,084 in total since the moratorium began in 1986. Those figures sound horrendous. I am of course using the WWF figures and we all know how accurate and peer reviewed their information is. An independent assessment done by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (they must be good, they have the word conservation in their title) says that “Iceland, Norway, and Japan – have brutally slaughtered over 25,000 whales under the guise of scientific research and for commercial purposes”. Note their overly emotive language. They were harvested, as we know, not brutally slaughtered. To use that terminology I would hate to think how they consider the Beef  industry. Somewhere between those numbers lies the truth.   Read more »

Eating baby seals is only the beginning

Apparently I eat babies…am evil personified…and should be ignored.

But you can’t ignore Killer Whales…you can only seek to understand them.

Fortunately The Atlantic earlier last year compiled a list of 7 reasons why Killer Whales are Evil geniuses.

Over at Wired Science, a photographer caught a stunning sequence of a killer whale in Monterey Bay flipping a dolphin out of the water and then eating it. Apparently, they do this regularly! “I have seen this with several different species of dolphins from various places around the world, so I think that killer whales probably do this regularly but not commonly,” a NOAA ecologist told Nadia Drake. “With slower swimming species, like seals and sea lions, killer whales prefer to use their tails to swat them out of the water.” Just go look at the ridiculous photographs.

Yikes. So that’s reason number one: they kill dolphins, and who doesn’t love dolphins?

Perhaps, though, we should more firmly establish that they are evil.* They kill baby things. So many baby things and in so many innovative ways!Baby seals. Baby sea lions. Even baby sperm whales!   Read more »

How are the Polar Bears and Whales doing?

The green taliban like to scare us that Whales and Polar Bears are dying…but are they?

Nope…not anytime soon.

Humpback whales. Some cetaceans are in big trouble. The Yangtze River dolphin is down to a few individuals, at best. Right whales could disappear by the end of the century. Yet we’ve been repeating the “save the whales” mantra for so long that the real conservation status of most whales is widely misunderstood.

Humpbacks were endangered decades ago due to whaling, but international protection has helped them rebound so well that they are now listed as a “species of least concern.” The global pre-whaling population is estimated at about 125,000, and today they probably number about 80,000 individuals. Conservation efforts worked, and humpback whales are doing all right now.  Read more »

Slow down for Whales

Ships are being asked to slow down for whales in the Hauraki Gulf.

Ports of Auckland will ask ships to slow down in and out of the harbour to save endangered whales in the Hauraki Gulf.

The gulf is home to fewer than 200 adult Bryde’s whales. On average about two a year are found dead, many from vessel-strike. Ports of Auckland will soon be asking visiting ships to slow to 10 knots in the gulf. If that doesn’t work, they could be forced to slow down.

Hauraki Gulf Forum chairman John Tregidga said lower speed drastically reduced whale deaths.

“Most ships are doing around 12 or 14 knots so we aren’t asking much.”  Read more »

The 52 hertz whale

This could is the whale song of what is possibly the world’s loneliest whale:

Since the 1980s, scientists have heard a single whale in the Pacific, singing at a higher frequency than any other—way up at 52 hertz, rather than down below human hearing at 15-20 hertz where blue and fin whales normally sing. In spite of listening in for two decades, no one has ever heard a lady whale reply.   Read more »

I wanna try a whale burger

Michael Evans discusses being at the top of the food chain.

Sitting atop the food chain is a hand-wringing place to be.

Oh, the daily angst of deciding which fellow beast from the animal kingdom should be slaughtered to ensure my survival.

Excuse my existential dilemma as I wipe the pork fat from my lips and devour a chicken leg before tossing the bone to the pooch at my feet. Lucky hound – how did he get to be domesticated rather than filleted anyway? Best not take him on holiday to Asia.

Funny how we humans make the rules about what we can – and can’t – eat.

Don’t mess with Whales

Seriously I don’t know why people mess around with Whales…it always ends in tears.

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A whale has knocked out a surfer in a bizarre incident at Bondi Beach.

The 15 metre humpback whale surfaced among surfboard riders and swimmers close to the beach this morning, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.   Read more »

New theory on Whale strandings

Radio New Zealand reports on interesting findings about whale strandings:

Scientists researching whale strandings have hit on a new theory that social disruption prior to strandings might be the cause, rather than following sick family members to a shallow beach.

A whale specialist with both the University of Auckland and the University of Oregon in the United States, Scott Baker, says genetic testing has found 120 pilot whales which stranded on Stewart Island were not all closely related.  Read more »

Biofuel from Whale Oil

This will upset the green taliban, though what could they possibly object to about biofuels:

Kristjan Loftsson plans to kill 150 fin whales this year (Anton Brink)

Kristjan Loftsson plans to kill 150 fin whales this year (Anton Brink)

AN ICELANDIC entrepreneur has created a new “biofuel” using whale oil — which he then uses to power his whale-hunting ships.

Kristjan Loftsson, who runs a business catching fin whales around Iceland, claims his biofuel, a mixture of 20% whale oil and 80% diesel, is the world’s greenest.

Loftsson says the oil is doubly environmentally friendly because he uses geothermal energy from Iceland’s volcanic vents to melt the whale carcasses to extract the oil.  Read more »