Fire Earth, December 28, 2009
About 30 pilot whales died after they became stranded on Coromandel peninsula yesterday and will be buried by the local Maori.
Meanwhile, up to 120 long-finned pilot whales, both calves and adults, were found dead at the Farewell Spit on Boxing Day.
“More offshore wells have been drilled in the last two years than the rest of the decade combined: 35 on and offshore wells were drilled between January 2008 and July 2009 alone,” said a report.
Each year about 2.5 million tourists visit New Zealand, straining its fragile ecosystems to the breaking point, creating a massive litany of different types of pollution, including noise.
Mendo Coast Current wrote: “Studies show that these cetaceans, which once communicated over thousands of miles to forage and mate, are losing touch with each other, the experts said at a U.N. wildlife conference in Rome.”
“The sound of a seismic test, used to locate hydrocarbons beneath the seabed, can spread 1,800 miles under water, said Veronica Frank, an official with the International Fund for Animal Welfare. A study by her group found that the blue whale, which used to communicate across entire oceans, has lost 90% of its range over the past 40 years.”
Environmental experts are studying numerous cases of beached whales and dolphins that are believed to have been caused by sound pollution, according to Simmonds.
Just two weeks ago at least five whales died after nine were beached in Mediterranean off the southern coast off Italy, an unusual place for whales to beach themselves.
‘A massive beaching is extremely rare in the Mediterranean,’ biologist Maurizio Wurtz at the University of Genoa said.
Noise pollution from seismic surveys for oil and gas as well as naval activities are believed to have confused whales by interfering with their communication, thus leaving them stranded and ultimately dead, many Conservationists and biologists say.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) says man-made ocean noise inhibits cetaceans’ communication and disrupts their feeding.
The level of ocean noise in some regions is doubling each decade, according to IFAW. “Humanity is literally drowning out marine mammals.”