whales

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Decline of Rare Whale May Be Leveling Off

But total number of North Atlantic right whales remains below 400 on US East Coast

(Newser) - The decline of one of the rarest whales in the world appears to be slowing, but scientists warn the giant mammals still face existential threats from warming oceans, ship collisions, and entanglement in fishing gear, per the AP . The population of North Atlantic right whales, which live off the US...

Recently Discovered Whale Poses Threat to Oil Drilling

Endangered Rice's whale is at the heart of Gulf of Mexico dispute

(Newser) - A newly discovered (and uniquely American) whale may disrupt the business of oil drilling off the Gulf of Mexico. But despite the critically endangered status of the "Rice's whale," Big Oil is fighting to keep its lease active in those lucrative waters, the Washington Post reports. Rice'...

Video Shows 3 Whales Breach at Same Moment

The very rare sight was captured off Cape Cod

(Newser) - A New Hampshire man celebrating his birthday on the ocean with his three daughters captured video of something so rare that even marine scientists are jealous—three humpback whales leaping from the water in near-perfect unison. "It was such an uplifting thing to see. Just incredible," Robert Addie...

Cruise Passengers Get a Gory Welcome to Port: the 'Grind'

Ship arrived in Faroe Islands as 78 pilot whales were being slaughtered, a centuries-old tradition

(Newser) - It's not a sight you especially want to see as your cruise ship pulls into port. But as Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambition approached Torshavn, the capital of Denmark's self-governing Faroe Islands, over the weekend, the water was red with blood, leaving passengers horrified. What happened on Sunday,...

Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt
Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt

Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt

Suspends its annual hunt until the last 2 weeks of the season, in a likely death knell

(Newser) - Iceland is one of three nations left on the planet that still hunts whales commercially, and it looks like it may be bowing out of that small, controversial group on a humanitarian basis. As AFP reports, Reykjavik announced it's suspending the annual whaling season—which runs from mid-June to...

Alleged Russian Spy Whale Turns Up in a New Country

Hvaldimir, first spotted off of Norway 4 years ago, is now in Swedish waters

(Newser) - In 2019, when a white beluga whale showed up off of Norway , experts suspected it was a spy whale that had defected from the Russian military. Scientists also feared the creature wouldn't be able to survive very long on its own after a lifetime in captivity—but now, four...

Endangered Orcas May Have Learned to Target Boats

Is it for fun? Or is it 'based on trauma'?

(Newser) - Scientists say a small group of killer whales could be putting humans and themselves in danger by repeatedly ramming, and occasionally sinking, sailboats. Orcas interacting with boats is nothing new. But scientists say there is something different about the behavior of this group of about 15 orcas off the coast...

Harpooned Whales Can Take Hours to Die
Harpooned Whales
Can Take Hours to Die
New Study

Harpooned Whales Can Take Hours to Die

An Icelandic survey of mortally wounded whales found evidence of suffering

(Newser) - A report by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority found harpooned whales sometimes took a distressingly long time to die during hunts, with some suffering for up to two hours, per the Guardian . The report , published in the Icelandic language, found that almost 40% of whales struggled for over...

Maine's Lobster Industry Is Up in Claws

Sues a California aquarium for recommending that consumers avoid lobster due to harm to whales

(Newser) - A coalition representing the Maine lobster industry is suing an aquarium on the other side of the country for recommending that seafood customers avoid buying a variety of lobster mostly harvested in their state, reports the AP . Industry groups including the Maine Lobstermen's Association are suing the Monterey Bay...

Evidence of 'New' Whale Behavior Found in Ancient Myth

Dismissed as inaccurate, old texts hold evidence modern scientists have missed: study

(Newser) - In 2011, researchers described what they thought was a new phenomenon. They'd observed humpback and Bryde's whales opening their jaws, then waiting for prey fish to swim into their waiting mouths, in what's been dubbed trap fishing, per Smithsonian . The practice has been observed at least a...

Scientists Surprised to Learn Whales Use 'Vocal Fry'

The marine mammals use it to help them find prey deep underwater

(Newser) - That low, rattling vocal register known as vocal fry—the Washington Post points to Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry as two examples of celebrities who have such gravelly voices—has proven a polarizing topic, with some insisting it's sexy, while others call it grating. But while the appeal of...

Mama Orca Adopted Baby Pilot Whale, a First
Mama Orca Adopted Baby
Pilot Whale, a First
new study

Mama Orca Adopted Baby Pilot Whale, a First

But the story may not be as cuddly as it appears on the surface

(Newser) - Researchers studying killer whales near Iceland spotted an unusual thing: An adult female orca was acting like a mother to a baby pilot whale. In fact, "unusual" is an understatement—it's the first such case on record, reports Insider . The young pilot whale was swimming right along side...

Male Orcas Need Their Moms Well Into Adulthood
Orca Moms Pay Steep
Price for Their Adult Sons
new study

Orca Moms Pay Steep Price for Their Adult Sons

They continue to provide food all through life, and the behavior takes a toll on the mothers

(Newser) - Researchers studying orcas have made a remarkable discovery about the relationship between females and their male offspring. It seems that mother orcas continue to feed their sons well into adulthood to help them survive, and the mothers do this at great sacrifice to themselves, reports the BBC . The study in...

Japanese Vending Machines Now Dispensing Whale Meat

Conservationists are worried about the development

(Newser) - A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses...

Forever Chemicals Invade Orcas&mdash;and Their Fetuses
Forever Chemicals Invade
Orcas—and Their Fetuses
NEW STUDY

Forever Chemicals Invade Orcas—and Their Fetuses

'We need to think about how this could affect our health,' says researcher

(Newser) - Researchers say they're "shocked and saddened" to have discovered toxic chemicals, including "forever chemicals," in the bodies of killer whales, including endangered southern resident orcas, whose population decline could be a direct result. Scientists from the University of British Columbia, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and BC'...

Whale Makes 'Amazing' but Heartbreaking Journey

Humpback with broken back made 3.1K-mile trek from Canada to Hawaii but likely won't live long

(Newser) - It's a story both inspiring and heartbreaking, and one that marine wildlife experts have been monitoring with admiration and deep concern. For at least the last decade, a humpback whale named Moon has been on the radar of scientists at the Fin Island whale research station off of British...

This Whale Sucks In an Astounding Amount of Microplastics

Blue whales, as well as other baleens, are ingesting millions of the tiny particles daily

(Newser) - Baleen whales —which include blue whales and humpbacks—are a type of whale that uses special filters instead of teeth to collect and eat small prey like krill and fish. Now, in a research first, scientists examining the consumption habits of these marine mammals have found they're...

More Dead Whales Are Turning Up on West Coast

At least 5 since mid-May, off of California and Canadian coasts

(Newser) - Scientists are probing the unexplained deaths of a fourth and fifth whale on the US and Canadian west coasts since mid-May. "Spike," a young female humpback first documented by scientists in 2018, was found washed ashore near Vancouver Island on Sunday, just a day after a male humpback...

At 'Hell's Gate,' Hundreds of Stranded Whales Languish

Half the whales beached in Tasmania may still be alive, but rescue is 'complex'

(Newser) - Almost two years ago to the day, close to 400 whales died after washing up on the shores near Macquarie Heads, Tasmania, in one of the largest strandings ever recorded. Now, deja vu on the Australian island's west coast. Some 230 whales have been beached near the town of...

Blue Apron, HelloFresh Are Ditching Lobster

Moves come after conservation group's warning about dangers to whales from fishing gear

(Newser) - Some retailers are taking lobster off the menu after an assessment from an influential conservation group that the seafood poses too much of a risk to rare whales and should be avoided. Whales can suffer injuries and even fatalities when they become entangled in the gear that connects to lobster...

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