Browsing: Whales

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Whale Dies in Philippines with 88 Pounds of Plastic in Stomach

A dead whale in the Philippines had 88 pounds of plastic trash in its body, and a whale expert said in some areas of the whale’s stomach the plastic had been there so long it was “almost like a solid brick.” The body of the whale, 15 feet long and weighing 1,000 pounds, washed ashore near the town of Mabini. It had more than 40 pounds of plastic bags in its stomach (see the picture, above), 16 rice sacks, four banana plantation-style bags, and a variety of other plastic waste. Darrell Blatchley, owner of D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City,…

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Whale Starts To Swallow Diver Off South Africa, Then Spits Him Out, Uninjured

Rainer Schimpf, 51, is a lucky man. After all, he was almost eaten up by a 50-foot whale while he was diving in the Indian Ocean off South Africa, with his head and torso inside the whale’s mouth. Fortunately, after a few seconds, the whale spat him out, and Schimpf swam back to his dive boat, unharmed. (See the video, below.) Schimpf is the director of Dive Experts Tours, and he was leading a group about 25 nm off Elizabeth Harbour, just east of Cape Town. The group was filming a sardine run that usually attracts seals, dolphins, sharks, penguins…

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Dead Whales Washing Up on Outer Banks Beaches. At Least One Hit by a Ship

A growing number of dead whales are washing up on beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Some appear to have been hit by ships, but others have died of still unknown causes. The latest incidents involve four dead whales found on beaches in the Outer Banks in just two weeks earlier this month, part of a rising death toll over the past two years. One humpback whale was found on a beach in Corolla, which is on the Outer Banks between Kitty Hawk and Virginia Beach. Another, also a humpback, was found the same day not far away…

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Increasing Noise from Ships, Offshore Drilling, Threatens Marine Life

The oceans are getting louder, with increased noise levels coming from ever-larger commercial ships and new offshore drilling. And the new sound levels are so high that they pose health problems for marine life from right whales to plankton. The newest problem is coming from seismic air guns used for offshore drilling in oil and gas exploration. The Administration has allowed offshore drilling, with seismic mapping, along the Atlantic coast from Florida to the Northeast. Similar exploration and seismic mapping, with the use of air guns, is expected soon along the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Coast as well. “They…

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2018: A Bad Year for Manatees in Florida and Whales off California

Last year was a bad time for manatees in Florida and whales off California, with an increasing number of boat-related manatee deaths and more whales entangled in fishing nets and lines. In Florida, 2018 saw the second-highest number of manatee deaths ever. Indeed, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) reported that more than 800 manatees died in 2018, a 50 percent increase over the previous year. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said it was the highest number of deaths in any year except 2013, with 818, a year with a long cold spell. More than a quarter…

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Dead Whale in Indonesia Had 1,000 Pieces of Plastic in Its Stomach, Including Flip Flops

A dead 31-foot sperm whale washed up on a beach in a popular resort area of Indonesia recently with more than 1,000 pieces of plastic in its stomach, including 115 cups, 25 bags and two flip flops. All told, the plastic in the whale’s stomach weighed 13 pounds. State officials who were called to the scene near Kapota Island couldn’t tell if the plastic killed the whale or whether it died of other causes. Indonesia is one of the largest producers of plastic waste in the world, along with China. This was not the first such incident in that part…

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Whale Shark, the Biggest Fish in the Sea, Surfaces Behind Fishing Boat Off Charleston. See the Video

Whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, usually live in the tropics. About the size of a school bus, growing to 40 feet long and weighing in at 20 tons, they prefer warm water, migrating every spring to the continental shelf off central west Australia, where the Ningaloo Reef provides them with an abundant supply of plankton, their food of choice. So Michael Krivohlavek, 21, a mate for Daymaker Sport Fishing Charters out of Charleston, S.C., was surprised to see a whale shark surface behind his boat recently. The fishing boat was in 150 feet of water about 36…

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Boat Hits Whale Off Long Beach, California. Fire Department Issues Warnings

A boat hit a humpback whale off Barrier Island near Long Beach, California, and the Fire Department there warned boaters there to keep at least 300 feet away from whales in the future. The Fire Department also posted the picture above on Facebook, showing boats much closer than that to a whale near the harbor. “Boaters, this is unacceptable,” the Fire Department wrote. “These boats are way, way too close to our friendly neighbors (whales) who’ve come to our shores for a visit. Not only is it dangerous to get so up close and personal, it’s also illegal.” The Fire…

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Whale Dies on Beach in Thailand After Eating 18 Plastic Bags Weighing 80 Pounds

An ailing pilot whale that washed up in a beach in southern Thailand had 18 plastic bags weighing 80 pounds in its stomach. Despite attempts by marine conservationists to save the whale, it died five days later. They say the plastic bags clogged up the whale’s digestive tract and it wasn’t able to eat. In essence, the whale starved to death. After the whale died, a necropsy showed the extent of the plastic in its stomach. Stories and pictures of the whale promoted an outrage in social media. Each year, more than 300 endangered sea turtles and 150 dolphins and…

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Humpback Whales Enjoying Baby Boom in the Antarctic

Here’s some good news: Humpback whales are making a comeback in the Antarctic; in fact, they’re enjoying something of a baby boom. A new study under Ari Friedlaender of the University of California at Santa Cruz reports that female humpback whales are having higher pregnancy rates and giving birth to more calves in recent years than previously. The whales were almost hunted out of existence in the late 19thcentury and for most of the 20thcentury, until international treaties were signed to protect them. The whales, which grow to the size of a school bus, have life spans similar to ours.…

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