Mysterious dolphin deaths linked to oil spill in Mauritius

August 31, 2020 by  
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Approximately 40  dolphins have been reported dead  in an area affected by an oil spill from a Japanese ship. The ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef on the southern tip of Mauritius in July. According to Nature , the ship was ferrying approximately 3,900 metric tons of oil, of which 1,000 metric tons spilled into the ocean. Officials in Mauritius have confirmed the death of 40 dolphins in the area at the time of writing. The deaths come just one month after the spill, sparking speculations that the dolphins have died because of the spill. Although there is no official evidence linking the deaths of the dolphins and the oil spill, several organizations are stepping in to ensure that there is transparency in analyzing the deaths. Related: Lapsed fishing moratorium endangers Amazon river dolphins Since the oil spill on August 6, there have been cleanup efforts in progress. Unfortunately, Mauritius was not prepared for such a catastrophe, and efforts to clean up the oil have been slow. According to Jacqueline Sauzier, president of the nonprofit Mauritius Marine Conservation Society in Phoenix, the organization has been helping with the cleanup in collaboration with other local organizations. On Monday, August 24, Greenpeace Africa and Japan joined a local organization, Dis Moi, in writing a joint letter to the Government of Mauritius calling for transparency. The organizations are urging the Mauritius government to speed up the process of analyzing the dead dolphins to determine their deaths. “The ocean is part of who we are. The whole country including coastal communities depend on its health,” said Vijay Naraidoo, co-directory of Dis Moi. “That is why many Mauritians woke up anguished and afraid that the oil spill may be killing it. Such biodiversity loss is an ominous development for what might come as a result of the oil spill.” As of Friday, August 28, Mauritius had reported that about 75% of the spill had been cleaned. The UN along with several countries, including France, Japan and the U.K, are offering Mauritius a helping hand to ensure that the spill is completely cleared out. + Nature + Greenpeace Via Reuters Image via Mokshanand Sunil Dowarkasing and Shav via Greenpeace

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Mysterious dolphin deaths linked to oil spill in Mauritius

Lapsed fishing moratorium endangers Amazon river dolphins

June 19, 2020 by  
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They’re smart, rare, sociable and an incredibly coveted sighting for eco-tourists and wildlife lovers. But Amazon river dolphins are teetering on the brink of extinction as a five-year fishing moratorium has just expired, leaving them vulnerable to poachers. These playful mammals , which are sometimes pink, used to be abundant in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. But their rotting fatty blubber is irresistible to piracatinga, a kind of catfish. Poachers illegally kill the dolphins for bait to catch piracatinga. Related: Amazon deforestation increased by 34% in 2019 In January 2015, then-President Dilma Rousseff’s administration put a five-year moratorium on piracatinga fishing in order to protect the dolphins . But current President Jair Bolsonaro — notoriously unfriendly to the Amazon ecosystem — seems disinclined to extend the ban. “I believe [the lack of a moratorium] could make them extinct,” said Vera da Silva, a researcher for INPA . “Not all the objectives of the moratorium were fulfilled, therefore the moratorium must be extended.” The Amazon river dolphin is the world’s largest freshwater dolphin, growing to about 8 feet in length. The dolphins use echolocation to hunt murky Amazon pools for turtles, fish and freshwater crabs. Similar creatures live in other rivers of South America and Asia, but they all face threats from humans. In 2007, China’s Yangtze River dolphin was pronounced extinct due to pollution, habitat degradation and overfishing. “They are very special creatures,” Natanael dos Santos said of the Amazon river dolphin. Dos Santos works as a guide at Brazil’s Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development . “They are extremely intelligent and can display a complex set of behaviors, even like humans.” Fishing is only one threat the Amazon river dolphins face. Hydroelectric dams and mercury poisoning from gold mining operations have also reduced their population. Marcelo Oliveira, a conservation specialist at World Wildlife Fund Brazil (WWF), urges stronger community engagement with fishermen in the Amazon basin. “Extending the moratorium could be a way to protect the dolphins, alternative baits could be a way, but we need to have a balance between development and biodiversity conservation,” Oliveira said. “It’s not a fight between the two. If communities are involved in conservation, the dolphins will be safer.” Via Mongabay Image via Gregory Smith

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Lapsed fishing moratorium endangers Amazon river dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins spotted in Canadian Pacific waters for the first time

April 20, 2018 by  
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Bottlenose dolphins typically reside in tropical or warm-temperate waters around the world — but researchers recently glimpsed a group of around 200 of the dolphins and around 70 false killer whales off northern Vancouver Island’s west coast in Canada. They said this sighting is “the only occurrence of common bottlenose dolphins recorded in Canadian Pacific waters” — and a warming trend could be to blame. In July 2017, Halpin Wildlife Research , working with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Department of Environment and Climate Change , documented the dolphins and whales. In research published this month in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records , the three researchers involved said the sighting “is the most northerly record” for common bottlenose dolphins “in the eastern North Pacific .” Related: A beluga whale living with dolphins learned to “speak their language” Lead author Luke Halpin said in a statement , “The sighting is also the first offshore report of false killer whales in British Columbia. To see the two species traveling together and interacting was quite special and rare. It is known that common bottlenose dolphins and false killer whales seek each other out and interact, but the purpose of the interactions is unclear.” Warming in eastern North Pacific waters between 2013 and 2016 could be the reason for the presence of the dolphins and whales. Halpin said he’s documented warm-water species in British Columbia waters since 2014, including a loggerhead turtle and a swordfish . He said, “With marine waters increasingly warming up, we can expect to see more typically warm-water species in the northeastern Pacific.” + BioMed Central + Marine Biodiversity Records Images via Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith on Flickr and the National Park Service

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Bottlenose dolphins spotted in Canadian Pacific waters for the first time

A beluga whale living with dolphins learned to "speak their language"

November 3, 2017 by  
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A beluga whale living in captivity with a pod of bottlenose dolphins learned to communicate using their unique “language” or sounds. Detailed in a new study published in the journal Animal Cognition , the extraordinary inter-species communication breakthrough demonstrates the well-documented ability of beluga whales to accurately imitate sounds of other species. This mimicry extends even to humans, as was the case with Noc, the beluga whale studied by the US Navy in the 1970s who was observed making human-like sounds. Although it can’t be confirmed whether or not the beluga whale actually understands the meaning of the dolphin sounds, her ability to shift her own communication style demonstrates the social sophistication and intelligence of cetaceans . At first, the cohabitation arrangements were not originally an easy transition for the cetaceans. “The first appearance of the beluga in the dolphinarium caused a fright in the dolphins,” wrote researchers Elena Panova and Alexandr Agafonov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow . However, after only two months of living with dolphins , the beluga whale featured in the study began using dolphin sounds. The team of scientists recorded 90 hours of vocalizations, data through which the researchers were able to identify that the beluga whale began to use the signature whistles of each individual dolphin, unique sounds that may function similar to names. Related: There’s a humpback whale living in the Hudson River Although the beluga whale was eager to fit in with her new family, the dolphins did not similarly adapt their “ language .” “The inspection of the audio recordings made before and after the beluga’s introduction revealed that the cross-species imitation was not reciprocal,” wrote the researchers. “While the imitations of dolphin whistles were regularly detected among the beluga’s vocalizations, we found only one case in which the dolphins produced short calls that resembled (but were not identical in physical parameters) those of the beluga .” Although the beluga may not be able to understand the sounds it is using, it is nonetheless an important example of a phenomenon known as call convergence. “The case reported here, as well as other instances of imitation and whistle sharing in dolphins described in the literature, may be considered as vocal convergence between socially bonded individuals – a phenomenon that can be seen in various vocal species, from birds to humans,” wrote the researchers. “With some exceptions, call convergence is suggested to provide recognition of a group and strengthening of social bonds between its members.” Via Science Alert Images via Depositphotos (1)

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A beluga whale living with dolphins learned to "speak their language"

Friendly dolphin befriends children in the Baltic Sea

September 15, 2016 by  
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A dolphin described as ” friendly ” and ” lonely ” appears to be engaging swimmers in the Baltic Sea close to Kiel, Germany . The dolphin’s behavior has led many to think it wants to play with children swimming in the sea. While it’s not yet known exactly where the dolphin came from, researchers think it could have been washed into the inlet during 2014 winter storms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=3UZl4l9UycE https://twitter.com/TheLocalGermany/status/775619334676815872 According to The Guardian, “hundreds of children” have now splashed around with the dolphin, who has allowed the children to hug it and even seems to pull them through the water on rides. It has also been seen nudging children, as if asking them to play, according to onlookers. Related: This friendly fish has visited a Japanese diver for 25 years Marine scientist Boris Culik told German publication Kieler Nachrichten ( translated by The Local Germany ), “It’s not normal that a dolphin trusts humans so much. But one does find dolphins who seek human company. Perhaps he is just lonely.” https://twitter.com/karlaline/status/775658005325045761 While many have swum out in the sea to touch the dolphin, the local police say too many people at once could overwhelm the dolphin. Culik said human hands carry germs the dolphin may not be able to handle. The dolphin has also been swimming through locks, and police are asking people to not swim too close to the locks. The Waterways and Shipping Office’s Mathias Visser told The Guardian the dolphin has been “merrily making its way in and out of the sluice” and “gives the impression that it’s in a good way.” The Institute for Baltic Sea Research told The Guardian the dolphin likely arrived in the inlet when storms swept water from the North Sea into the Baltic Sea. Via The Guardian Image via Reinhard Link on Flickr

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Friendly dolphin befriends children in the Baltic Sea

Over 200 Dolphins Awaiting Slaughter in Japan’s Taiji Cove

January 20, 2014 by  
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Japanese fisherman have penned over 200 bottlenose dolphins in a cove as part of a traditional hunting practice which has left the marine mammals stressed, bloodied, and frantic to escape. For three nights, the dolphins have been penned in Taiji Cove without food or rest, waiting to be slaughtered for their meat on Monday. This information comes from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society , which is live-streaming video of the event and keeping supporters updated on Twitter. Read the rest of Over 200 Dolphins Awaiting Slaughter in Japan’s Taiji Cove Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bottlenose dolphins , captive dolphins , conservation efforts , dolphin hunt , dolphin slaughter , japanese dolphin hunt , marine mammals , marine parks , Sea Shepherd , Taiji , taiji cove , The Cove        

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Over 200 Dolphins Awaiting Slaughter in Japan’s Taiji Cove

Measles May be Killing Dolphins Along America’s East Coast

August 29, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Bottlenose dolphin mortality along the east coast of the United States is nine times higher than average and – according to NOAA – may be attributed to the same disease that sends people to the hospital every year: measles. All told, from North Carolina to New York City, nearly 500 dolphins have been found stranded on beaches this year when normally that number hovers around 150. Many of the dolphins found had lesions on their bodies, an indicator for cetacean morbillivirus , as dolphin measles is known. Read the rest of Measles May be Killing Dolphins Along America’s East Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae blooms and dolphins , animal viruses , cetacean morbillivirus , dead dolphins , dolphin measles , dolphins , east coast dead dolphins , environmental cause of dolphin deaths , mass dolphin deaths , measles , United States east coast , why are dolphins dying in America        

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Measles May be Killing Dolphins Along America’s East Coast

Construction Begins on Chicago’s 2.7 Mile Long Bloomingdale Trail

August 29, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Construction Begins on Chicago’s 2.7 Mile Long Bloomingdale Trail Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 606 , 606 park , abandoned freight line , bloomingdale , bloomingdale trail , chicago , eco design , elevated rail trail , green architecture , Green Building , green design , high line , Landscape Architecture , mayor rahm emanuel , park , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , the 606 , urban park        

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Construction Begins on Chicago’s 2.7 Mile Long Bloomingdale Trail

Dead Dolphins Washing Ashore on the East Coast of the U.S. in Alarming Numbers

August 12, 2013 by  
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This summer, over a hundred dead dolphins washed up on the shores of the East Coast of the United States, and scientists are baffled about the cause. Whatever is hurting the animals is specifically targeting bottlenose dolphins , who have been dying out in such alarming numbers that now the federal government is joining in on the investigation . READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beaches , dead dolphins , disease , Dolphin Deaths , dolphins , east coast , marine biology , marine life , new jersey , ocean , poison , Pollution , toxins , virginia        

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Dead Dolphins Washing Ashore on the East Coast of the U.S. in Alarming Numbers

WTO Panel Rules Against Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling

May 17, 2012 by  
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On Wednesday the World Trade Organization ruled against the sale of cans of tuna labeled “dolphin safe ,” arguing that the practice discriminates against Mexican fishermen and that the United States’ definition of “dolphin safe” tuna unfairly restricts trade. The WTO decision threatens a business practice that has been in place for over 20 years. Environmentalists and businesses both criticized the ruling for potentially threatening dolphin species in the Pacific Ocean as well as interfering with U.S. consumers’ choices. Read the rest of WTO Panel Rules Against Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: canned tuna , dolphin safe tuna , dolphins , earth island institute , mexico , pacific ocean , public citizen , purse seine nets , tuna , TWO , world trade organization

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WTO Panel Rules Against Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling

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