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 Whale Activity in the News
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By: Pat B (offline) on Tuesday, December 27 2011 @ 04:11 PM EST  
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Quote by: Pat B

Beluga whales trapped in ice floes of Bering Sea

By Lynn Herrmann
Dec 14, 2011
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/316101

More than 100 Beluga whales are trapped between ice floes in the Chukotka region of Russia, with government officials seeking an icebreaker, as the whales are at risk of death from exhaustion, lack of food, and predators.
The Belugas are trapped in the Sinyavinsky Strait near the village of Yanrakynnot, just off the Bering Sea. They were discovered by fishermen who said the whales were concentrated in two small ice holes where, for now, they are able to breathe freely.
The government of the Chukotka Autonomous Region is seeking federal assistance in the form of an icebreaker to help with a rescue of the whales, CNN reports. Ice floes are increasing which may lead to rapid exhaustion and death by suffocation or starvation. The trapped whales are also at risk from predators such as polar bears and killer whales.
Beluga whales inhabit the Arctic Ocean and adjoining seas, are entirely arctic and subarctic, and are generally found in shallow coastal waters. Their world population is estimated between 60,000 to 80,000, according to Sea World.
Belugas are often trapped in the Arctic’s icy waters, but the phenomenon is usually undetected by people. The last recorded successful rescue of Belugas in the Chukotka region occurred in 1986, when an icebreaker helped in getting a pod of Belugas back into open water.
Known as “the shore of two oceans,” the Chukotka Autonomous Region is remotely located in extreme Northeast Russia and is the closest territory to the US, separated by the Bering Strait.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/3 ... z1gYKB4nTU


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Rescue of dozens of whales trapped in ice off Chukotka suspended
ANADYR, December 26 (RIA Novosti)

An operation to rescue dozens of white whales trapped in ice off Russia's Far Eastern Chukotka Peninsula has been suspended because of complicated weather conditions, an emergency services spokesman said on Monday.

The whales have been trapped in heavy ice in the Sinyavinsky channel off Chukotka for at least two weeks. Ice-holes allow them to breathe easily, but their lives are still in danger since food in the area, separated from clear waters by up to 25 kilometers of ice, is limited.

The Rubin rescue tug headed to the area to release the animals on Friday after hunters working in the Bering Sea reported they saw some 100 whales trapped in ice on December 13.

The rescue tug, which failed to make its way through ice, is heading to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to reload fuel, Lubomir Mukha said.

“If the weather and ice conditions in the area improve, the operation may continue,” he said.

Experts from the Chukotka Fishery Research Center have said food in the Sinyavinsky channel was enough to keep the whales alive at least until January.

The whales are able to break an ice layer of up to 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) with their heads so as to keep breathing in icebound waters.

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By: Pat B (offline) on Friday, February 17 2012 @ 04:59 PM EST  
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Scientists amazed as Pacific whales turn up far from home

By Tim Johnson | McClatchy Newspapers
Tim Johnson McClatchy Newspapers

OJO DE LIEBRE LAGOON, Mexico — When scientists fired a cigar-sized satellite tag into the blubber of a western gray whale off Russia's Sakhalin Island in September, they expected to track her along Asia's Pacific shoreline down to the South China Sea.
To their surprise, the young female turned up off of Mexico's Baja Peninsula.


Scap by Pat B from the video - Whale sanctuary in Baja, Mexico

The sudden travel bug that infected Varvara, the 9-year-old female now meandering in waters near Baja's Magdalena Bay, has deepened a mystery that has scientists the world over pondering what is happening to a tiny population of critically endangered western gray whales. Only 130 of the whales remain, feeding off of Sakhalin Island, not far from two offshore oil platforms.
In recent years, however, gray whales have been spotted far from their known migratory routes. One turned up in the Mediterranean off Israel, and a pair was seen in the Arctic's Laptev Sea.
Varvara's movements are sending a frisson through whaling circles.
"It's a scientific event — a big one," said Randall Reeves, a marine mammal expert who is a member of the global Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, which met in Geneva earlier this week.

Read the long, informative article here - with a video and illustrations



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By: elle (offline) on Friday, March 09 2012 @ 02:46 PM EST  
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9 March 2012
Japan has ended its whaling season with less than a third of its annual target, said the country's Fisheries Agency.


The whaling ships headed home from the Antarctic Ocean this week with 266 minke whales and one fin whale, falling short of its quota of about 900.

The agency blamed "sabotage" by anti-whaling activists for the shortfall.

Japan conducts "legal research" on whales each year, but activists say it is a cover for commercial whaling banned under an international treaty.

Read the rest of the story here




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By: elle (offline) on Thursday, March 22 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT  
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Was Sooke the killer whale blown up?

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Photo by Debra Brash, timescolonist.com(2005)


By JUDITH LAVOIE, timescolonist.com March 23, 2012 5:48 AM


The U.S. and Canadian navies are being asked to hand over details of live fire exercises and sonar use around southern Vancouver Island and Puget Sound in February, when an endangered southern resident killer whale died.



Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/health/Soo ... z1pxZJqVxk


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By: Pat B (offline) on Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 10:15 AM EDT  
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White killer whale adult spotted for first time in wild

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News

Scientists have made what they believe to be the first sighting of an adult white orca, or killer whale.

The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.



It appears to be healthy and leading a normal life in its pod.

White whales of various species are occasionally seen; but the only known white orcas have been young, including one with a rare genetic condition that died in a Canadian aquarium in 1972.

The sightings were made during a research cruise off Kamchatka by a group of Russian scientists and students, co-led by Erich Hoyt, the long-time orca scientist, conservationist and author who is now a senior research fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).

"We've seen another two white orcas in Russia but they've been young, whereas this is the first time we've seen a mature adult," he told BBC News.

"It has the full two-metre-high dorsal fin of a mature male, which means it's at least 16 years old - in fact the fin is somewhat ragged, so it might be a bit older."

Read the full article - and see a video here

Follow the Far East Russia Orca Project Here



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By: Marg (offline) on Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 11:54 AM EDT  
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What a video! Kayakers close encounter with whales! This happened off the coast in Argentina. Grin Don't Panic


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aka sunshinecoast member since Aug22/06


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