The Beacon

Blog Tags: Dolphins And Whales

CEO Note: Don't Ignore the Science

(Photo: Wayne Hoggard NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC)

Last month, the International Whaling Commission released a report that, for the very first time, established a firm connection between a sonar mapping tool used for offshore oil and gas exploration and the deaths of marine animals.

In 2008, about 100 “melon-headed whales” stranded in a shallow lagoon in northwestern Madagascar. Despite their name, melon-headed whales are actually a type of dolphin, found in deep oceans near the equator. They’re similar in size to a bottlenose dolphin, with dark grey coloring and a large, rounded head. At least 75 dolphins—three-quarters of those stuck in the lagoon—eventually died from dehydration, starvation, and sun exposure in the shallow waters.


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Oceana Kicks Off Public Forum Series on Seismic Airguns in New Jersey

Rep. Pallone speaks to the forum on protecting the New Jersey coast

Oceana staff hold a public form about seismic airguns in New Jersey with Rep. Frank Pallone. (Photo: Oceana)

Last week marked the beginning of a month-long, 10-stop East Coast tour for Oceana’s climate team. Over the next few weeks, our organizing team will be working with local organizations to host panel discussions on the hazards of seismic blasting in the Atlantic Ocean—a dangerous pre-cursor to offshore drilling along the East Coast, which will have devastating impacts on marine wildlife, fisheries and coastal economies. We kicked off our public forum series last Monday at Monmouth University with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.


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Sheryl Crow Editorial Calls for an Airgun-free Atlantic

The government estimates that seismic airguns will injure at least 138,500 dolphins and whales. (Photo: Mike Legend) 

Oceana’s efforts to fight seismic airgun use in the Atlantic are off to a strong start. Right now our activists are conducting forums in nine different states to educate residents about the dangers of airguns.


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Costa Concordia Capsizes near Med's Biggest Marine Park

A fish documented during Oceana's 2006 Mediteranean expedition. © Oceana/Inaki Relanzon

The wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in Italy is a sobering human tragedy, with at least 11 deaths and more missing. Sadly, it could become an environmental tragedy as well.

The Costa Concordia capsized Friday night near the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine sanctuary in the Mediterranean. The park is home to a variety of dolphins and whales, and its corals and seagrass create an important habitat for a variety of other plants and animals. Oceana visited the area during a 2006 expedition, documenting the health of the marine life there.

If the ship’s fuel leaks before the salvage team has a chance to drain it, the endangered and threatened species that live near the wreck will suffer.

"The tragic wreck occurred in a protected area that is home to many endangered species, so a spill would cause severe damage to organisms such as cetaceans, sharks and coral," said Ricardo Aguilar, research director at Oceana Europe. This would be a great tragedy for the area, which in the past has suffered coral death due to climate change.

Even without disasters like this one, cruise ships can be a danger to the oceans. Cruise ships can create more than a thousand tons of waste every day, through sewage, fuel, and other pollutants.

We here at Oceana extend our sympathy to the victims and their families. We can only hope that the tragedy ends here, and does not have a lasting impact on the underwater inhabitants of Giglio Island.


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