The Beacon

Blog Tags: Dolphins

Dolphins, Whales Still Threatened By Fishing

On the heels of President Bush's creation of three vast marine national monuments in the Pacific comes some not-so-great news about the outgoing president's stewardship of the oceans. In a new report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (my personal favorite of the federal agencies for its malfeasance-ferreting-out ways) has found that the National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to protect several marine mammal species, even though it's required by law. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the federal government is required to reduce the number of marine mammals that are incidentally killed by commercial fishing activities. For example, the North Atlantic right whale can be caught in lobster trap lines; pilot whales can be trapped in longline gear used to catch tuna; and dolphins and porpoises can be ensnared in nets set to catch cod and salmon. The GAO found that the National Marine Fisheries Service has been unable to establish plans to protect 14 of the 30 marine mammals required by law due to a lack of funding and insufficient data.


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A Dolphin Stamp-ede?

kelp forest stamps

Many of you have seen this already, I'm sure, but since Oceana HQ just got back to work this week, I missed out on posting this amazing video of a dolphin stampede in the Sea of Cortez:

That's a heck of a lot of dolphins, and you have to wonder where they're heading in such a hurry... Perhaps they're rushing to get the USPS' new kelp forest stamps... okay, obviously not, but the stamps do look pretty cool. Hat tip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Notes blog for the tidbit.


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Naval Sonar Could Affect Whales, Dolphins

jacksonville sonar range affects whales, sea turtles, corals

Next spring, the Supreme Court will weigh in on the U.S. Navy’s use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar off the southern California coast. Use of this type of sonar, which the Navy admits may significantly disturb or injure an estimated 170,000 marine mammals, was challenged in court based on protections found in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. Now that oral arguments before the Supreme Court have concluded, we must wait for its decision in 2009. But when you’re as passionate about the issues as our staff and supporters, waiting can be incredibly difficult, so thanks to a Wavemaker in St. Augustine, FL named Marcella, I have something that you can do to help protect marine mammals and other ocean wildlife from sonar.


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Dieting Dolphins

dieting dolphins

What happens when you feed your dolphins fatty mackerel? Your dolphins become too fatty to perform. That's what happened at a Japanese marine park when staff started noticing that the animals' girlish figures were becoming more portly and they couldn't hit their jumping targets. Now it's time to shape up the old-fashioned way -- diet and exercise. That's right, dolphins, there's no magic bullet -- it's called discipline.


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Flipper Lives!

Dolphin walking on tail

A wild dolphin in south Australia has been teaching members of her group to walk on their tails, a behavior usually seen only after training in captivity. Scientists are scratching their heads -- why would the dolphins do this? Well, one of the female dolphins, Billie, could have learned the behavior by observation during her brief stint in a dolphinarium. Or they might be watching too much Olympic gymnastics. Plus, it just looks like fun.


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Dolphins Get Cuter Yet

dolphin whistles to baby

Well if this doesn't make you say, "aww," I dont know what will... According to a new study, female bottlenose dolphins whistle 10 times more often after they give birth so their little ones can recognize them in the crowd of adults, since dolphins are social creatures.


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Ocean Fact O' the Day

"Dolphins are known to have sex for reasons other than reproduction."

Makes sense to me, I mean, what would you do if you found out your world was about to end? And while you're pondering that, check out this way cool video. ...

Happy Valentine's Day!


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Dolphins in Danger

Striped dolphins in the Spanish Mediterranean are under attack from a virus similar to measles that could kill roughly 75,000 of the creatures before the disease loses steam.

Authorities confirmed the disease, Morbillivirus, was also responsible for a plague that killed hundreds of thousands of dolphins in the early 1990s and also recently affected the Canary Island right whale population.


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Sad News: Fishermen Caught Killing Dolphins

Brazilian fishermen were caught on video suffocating not just one or two, but 83 dolphins, then piling them on the boat deck.

And what's more, they were laughing about it and joking about getting jail time. Who does that?

That's even worse than Japanese fishermen hording dolphins into enclosed waters and slaughtering them by the thousands for their meat. At the very least, they eat the catch in Japan.


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Who Needs the Orkin Man?

Every year environmental and animal welfare groups join forces to boo and hiss at (and work to oppose) Japan during the International Whaling Commission meeting. In 1986 the IWC instituted a moratorium on commercial whaling, and ever since, Japan has been fighting to overturn it. This year, Japan and its allies came dangerously close to inhaling the sweet smell of success.


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