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A sorry sight (dead whale)

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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 19:25   #1
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A sorry sight (dead whale)

I had a day out birding when visiting my parents in N Wales. Unfortunalty I discovered more than I bargained for. When reaching the beach at Gronant dunes I discovered a dead Whale. Someone had already alerted the coast Guard who arrived later on.

I am not sure what whale this is, I think Bottlenose ?

It looks to be a fairly small one in whale terms but a lot larger than a Dolphin so I guess a juvenile??

It had a small quantity of blood escaping from its mouth and one of its Gills so it may have been in contact with a boat.

Birds had already started to peck at it. The tide was coming in so what happens to it next is in natures hands I suppose

Sad sad sight.... the other side of nature loomed large and lifeless in front of me!!

Dave
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 19:48   #2
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A sad site indeed Dave. Wonder what happened to it.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 20:20   #3
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This did have a trickle of blood from its mouth, and I first thought that hit had been hit but that could have been an affect of it being stranded on a beach and then dying.

The biggest wounds were from birds pecking at it, so illness or just lost could have been the cause. But as I think it is a youngster i would hope that it was not illness.

all guesses though on my part
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 20:59   #4
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Can't see the dorsal fin well & no reference for size other than text, but it looks like Northern-Bottled Nosed Whale. Any other feedback from site?
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 21:05   #5
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yeah , i agree with mr crowder, i to yhink its a bottle nosed whale, sad but thats nature , red in tooth and claw
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 21:05   #6
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Always sad to see such a magnificent creature dead on the beach. My understanding of why whales/dolphins end up beached is either the are ill or are young/inexperienced and get into difficulty.

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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 21:13   #7
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Cheers for the feedback.

I have attached another few pics to show dorsel fin and also the size

As you can see also the tide was now coming in fast, so what happens next is down to the tide, but i wouldnt think the tide would be deep enough at this point of the shore or indeed strong enough at the moment to move it.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 21:32   #8
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Well done with the extra photos - thats no dolphin!
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 09:56   #9
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The coastguard will probably have notified the relevant authorities for stranded cetaceans, which in Wales is:

http://www.strandings.com/Wales.html

They should investigate the cause of death.
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 10:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capercaillie71 View Post
The coastguard will probably have notified the relevant authorities for stranded cetaceans, which in Wales is:

http://www.strandings.com/Wales.html

They should investigate the cause of death.
Cheers for the link
I have left a message just in case they want further info.
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 11:10   #11
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Beaked Whale

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Originally Posted by Bananafishbones View Post
Cheers for the link
I have left a message just in case they want further info.
Well done Dave, I have just got on to this thanks to Andrew Crowder . Its certainly a beaked whale maybe a bottlenose although I am not sure. I tried to ring Rod Penrose (Strandings) on his home number but did not get him, maybe he is on the case.
Beaked whales are particularty susceptable to low frequency naval sonar: Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS)
which has caused the deaths of unknown numbers of cetaceans around the world. I have tried to upload a pic' of a Sowerbys Beaked whale that was stranded here in Pembs, in 2004. It along with another washed up in Wexford with a Minke Whale, as well as a Fin whale that stranded in South Wales concurrently, had probably been victims of naval action/ SURTASS, along with common Dolphins last year in Cornwall
There are usually no signs of injury other than bleeding from orafaces, the animals die from surfacing too quickly and get the bends. I have taken the liberty of posting on http://whaleswales.blogspot.com but will remove if you are not happy with this, allthingsgood, cliff
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 11:57   #12
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Originally Posted by cliffben View Post
Well done Dave, I have just got on to this thanks to Andrew Crowder . Its certainly a beaked whale maybe a bottlenose although I am not sure. I tried to ring Rod Penrose (Strandings) on his home number but did not get him, maybe he is on the case.
Beaked whales are particularty susceptable to low frequency naval sonar: Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS)
which has caused the deaths of unknown numbers of cetaceans around the world. I have tried to upload a pic' of a Sowerbys Beaked whale that was stranded here in Pembs, in 2004. It along with another washed up in Wexford with a Minke Whale, as well as a Fin whale that stranded in South Wales concurrently, had probably been victims of naval action/ SURTASS, along with common Dolphins last year in Cornwall
There are usually no signs of injury other than bleeding from orafaces, the animals die from surfacing too quickly and get the bends. I have taken the liberty of posting on http://whaleswales.blogspot.com but will remove if you are not happy with this, allthingsgood, cliff
No problems whatsoever Cliff

The more people that can help, and being directed to others who have more knowledge, is the correct course.

I have more photos from differing angles if they are of use to the relevant people

Dave
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Old Sunday 11th October 2009, 22:56   #13
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Angry Udate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananafishbones View Post
No problems whatsoever Cliff

The more people that can help, and being directed to others who have more knowledge, is the correct course.

I have more photos from differing angles if they are of use to the relevant people

Dave
Nice one Dave and thanks. I was contacted by Rod Penrose (Welsh Strandings Coordinator) on his return from the stranding. Correct assumption, it was a juvenile female bottlenosed whale (Bullseye score 50) Apparently it had "cooked up" (basically if not kept cool by water, blubber insulation is so efficient that latent heat cannot escape and so it cooks) by the time the investigation team got to it. The cause of death may not ever be fully ascertained. None the less if any one knows about any naval activity in the area (we won't tell Bin Laden or anyone else with a grudge against our sceptered isle ) it would be helpful.
In the emphatic words of poor Freddie..."another one bites the dust" . After the largest part of a lifetime never having hardly ever heard of a bottlenose whale they seem to be popping up all over the place, and dying.
Just a bit of groundless speculation... Mummy is deep down when something strange and mysterious kills her, baby is awaiting a feed that never comes. Lost and alone look for a river; Clyde/Solent delta /Thames...whatever that will lead to local supermart for adequate quantity of milk... Neat explanation eh?

Last edited by cliffben : Sunday 11th October 2009 at 22:58. Reason: clarity
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Old Monday 12th October 2009, 06:42   #14
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Many Thanks for all the info Cliff. I have learnt abit more over the last few days. I will keep an eye on the relevant websites also

Regards
Dave
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Old Monday 12th October 2009, 08:00   #15
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My information on SURTASS systems is that they are passive listening arrays, unlike the active systems mounted in the bows of both war and merchant ships all over the world. The whole point of a SURTASS system is to tow it far enough away from the parent vessel so that hull and engine noises do not interfere with the very sensitive hydrophones.

There is a strong tendency to blame everything in the world on military technology, which is not borne out by history or technical knowledge.

Personally I believe that the all-out surface and sub-surface warfare of 1939-45, with coarse early sonars and many many many loud explosions all over the Atlantic would have depopulated the entire ocean of cetaceans if the effects were as devastating or widespread as is claimed today. I do not believe that hysteria, ignorance and bad science are the keys to conservation.

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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 08:45   #16
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Just plain wrong, John.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
My information on SURTASS systems is that they are passive listening arrays, unlike the active systems mounted in the bows of both war and merchant ships all over the world. The whole point of a SURTASS system is to tow it far enough away from the parent vessel so that hull and engine noises do not interfere with the very sensitive hydrophones.

There is a strong tendency to blame everything in the world on military technology, which is not borne out by history or technical knowledge.

Personally I believe that the all-out surface and sub-surface warfare of 1939-45, with coarse early sonars and many many many loud explosions all over the Atlantic would have depopulated the entire ocean of cetaceans if the effects were as devastating or widespread as is claimed today. I do not believe that hysteria, ignorance and bad science are the keys to conservation.

John
I did not come on this forum to exchange views with idiots.What you believe John is frankly of no importance to me. The fact is your information is as flawed as your logic. As you obviously have internet access you could easily have checked out your information? This might have saved you from looking a complete prat...but dont let me stop you....

Look up SURTASS on Wikipedia; "SURTASS began as development program in 1973 Initially the SURTASS system were passive, receive only sonar systems. The array was towed miles behind the ships and were designed for long range detection of submarines.

As the passive systems were being deployed, an active adjunct known as the SURTASS Low Frequency Active (LFA) systems was designed for long range detection. The active system must be used in conjunction with the passive received system. The active component transmits an audio signal between 100 Hz and 500 Hz from an array suspended below the ship while the passive SURTASS array is towed miles behind to receive the signal after it had reflected off the submarine."


Basically it sends low frequency noise at a level of up to 200 decibels over a very large area. If you want to try out 200 decibels John, i won't stop you but it will be unbearable and would make your ears bleed. If you were underwater at depths of hundreds of meters where beaked whales and other cetaceans feed you might try and escape by rapidly heading for the surface . You /they would/do suffer an agonising death as nitrogen bubbles formed in your bloodstream. a condition known as the bends.
There is plenty more info for anyone interested in the subject, but it is generally accepted that SURTASS/LFA is a very bad thing for cetaceans.
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 09:02   #17
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Was it one of your photos of the whale in the Scottish Daily Mail today Dave?

TS
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 09:42   #18
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Cheers for the further clarification on SURTASS Cliffben, I am getting to understand it a bit more now..

A bit more info on this whale:
The northern bottlenose whale was a sub-adult female, 6.21 metres long designated SW2009/330.
Location of stranding was Grid Ref: SJ 093 850 Gronant Sands, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales.

The carcass was dragged inshore across the sands to SJ 093 840 which took it into the next county, Flintshire where a post-mortem examination took place.

This has come Via Rod Penrose, Strandings Co-ordinator (Wales)
UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).
(Many Thanks)

Treesparrow:
I cant get a copy of the paper here, and had no luck on-line, so un sure if mine or not.

Dave
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 10:06   #19
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I did not come on this forum to exchange views with idiots.What you believe John is frankly of no importance to me. The fact is your information is as flawed as your logic. As you obviously have internet access you could easily have checked out your information? This might have saved you from looking a complete prat...but dont let me stop you....

Look up SURTASS on Wikipedia; "SURTASS began as development program in 1973 Initially the SURTASS system were passive, receive only sonar systems. The array was towed miles behind the ships and were designed for long range detection of submarines.

As the passive systems were being deployed, an active adjunct known as the SURTASS Low Frequency Active (LFA) systems was designed for long range detection. The active system must be used in conjunction with the passive received system. The active component transmits an audio signal between 100 Hz and 500 Hz from an array suspended below the ship while the passive SURTASS array is towed miles behind to receive the signal after it had reflected off the submarine."


Basically it sends low frequency noise at a level of up to 200 decibels over a very large area. If you want to try out 200 decibels John, i won't stop you but it will be unbearable and would make your ears bleed. If you were underwater at depths of hundreds of meters where beaked whales and other cetaceans feed you might try and escape by rapidly heading for the surface . You /they would/do suffer an agonising death as nitrogen bubbles formed in your bloodstream. a condition known as the bends.
There is plenty more info for anyone interested in the subject, but it is generally accepted that SURTASS/LFA is a very bad thing for cetaceans.
So modern SURTASS goes up to eleven. Jolly good, didn't know that.

At what distance from the emitter is the 200db measured? Attentuation must follow the inverse square law, so it can't be that strong over a huge distance. I admit I haven't looked something else up: how powerful is a whale's long-distance contact call? I understand the great whales at least are thought to be capable of communication over huge distances, much as Elephants can using ground transmission.

I would also be interested to know whether the ULF in use for SURTASS are actually detectable by whales. As an analogy, I have seen young people literally with hands over their ears to shut out bat calls that were giving them more of an ear-bashing than AC/DC, but I simply don't hear anything at all despite being subjected to the same bat sonar lashing.

As for whales getting the bends, I somehow doubt that their millions of years of adaptation to a marine environment have left that as an issue.

I believe I said something about hysteria.....

John
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 10:24   #20
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Originally Posted by Bananafishbones View Post
Treesparrow:
I cant get a copy of the paper here, and had no luck on-line, so un sure if mine or not.

Dave
I had a look on-line too and it's a different photo there. Not really important anyway. I just wondered.



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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 12:07   #21
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Hi y'all

There's a recent, weighty scientific report on the effect of sonar on cetaceans here:
http://www.ices.dk/advice/Request/EC...ar/agisc05.pdf

Haven't read it all, but here are some of the conclusions:
- much is not known about this issue
- some beaked whale deaths/strandings are certainly caused by sonar
- only high-intensity mid-frequency sonar seems to be a problem
- the exact mechanisms are unclear, but there is some evidence that deep-diving species can suffer 'bends' (this does not seem unlikely to me; before sonar, the number of situations in which cetaceans would need/want to surface very rapidly might well be too small to drive natural selection for the ability to do this safely)
- the number of fatalities caused too far from shore for animals to strand is unknown
- sonar contributes to the rising level of marine noise in general, which is itself a problem
- mitigation measures may be possible
- even given current uncertainties, the effect of sonar on even beaked whales, the most affected group of cetaceans, is almost certainly far less than the effect of bycatch.

best wishes to all
James
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 13:51   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Blake View Post
Hi y'all

There's a recent, weighty scientific report on the effect of sonar on cetaceans here:
http://www.ices.dk/advice/Request/EC...ar/agisc05.pdf

Haven't read it all, but here are some of the conclusions:
- much is not known about this issue
- some beaked whale deaths/strandings are certainly caused by sonar
- only high-intensity mid-frequency sonar seems to be a problem
- the exact mechanisms are unclear, but there is some evidence that deep-diving species can suffer 'bends' (this does not seem unlikely to me; before sonar, the number of situations in which cetaceans would need/want to surface very rapidly might well be too small to drive natural selection for the ability to do this safely)
- the number of fatalities caused too far from shore for animals to strand is unknown
- sonar contributes to the rising level of marine noise in general, which is itself a problem
- mitigation measures may be possible
- even given current uncertainties, the effect of sonar on even beaked whales, the most affected group of cetaceans, is almost certainly far less than the effect of bycatch.

best wishes to all
James
Thanks James. A cool response that focuses attention back on the real problem facing the oceans: mankind's rape of the resources therein and casual attitude to the oceanic equivalent of roadkill.

John
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 22:18   #23
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Back to the whale in question: Vital statistics are
6.12mtrs long
2-3 tonnes
Probable cause of death dehydration & Liver failure

Info supplied by UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).

Whatever was and is the real killer both in the past and undoubtedly will be again in the future it is a real shame to see such a young whale stranded on a beach. Just hope I dont witness one again
Dave
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 22:27   #24
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In the paper they believe the bottlenosed whale was pushed this way due to the new sonners used by the navy they believe we could see some more on our beaches they new sonners are very powerful and whales can hear them from many miles away so we could all see some sad sites soon such a shame the navy are in scotland at the moment on a massive exercise so finger crossed we see no more
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Old Tuesday 13th October 2009, 22:37   #25
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Mmmm
It seems there maybe more than a hint of truth in the Sonar theory then. Athough this is very new to me and I may seem very naive to the subject, I can see why this could be a factor in whale deaths.

there are obiously still 2 camps on this, even in the papers!!

Still very sad
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