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Save Dunmanus Bay

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The impact of dead, beached and decomposing Whales around the globe

Again a pod of Whales has been stranded on a beach in SW Australia. And although I have been able to find news archives and updates on the 17 surviving Whales, the announcement of the RSPCA this weekend, that it might be better to put some beached animals down then to try and save them, must be out there too somewhere.
I just have not found it yet.

YeYesterday, I found this website though, talking of how in December 2008, a Whale carcass was found, floating next to the pier in Manilla harbour, next to a large passenger ship.
According to Lory Tan, vice chairman of the World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, a similar incident occurred in 2007, when when it involved a a dead Baleen Whale, decomposing in the
busy port.
If the Phillipines lose their Whales, they might end up with a large gap in the eco system of the waters around Manilla, when the food the Cetaceans would normally prey on and eat, is kept alive, preying on more of the next level in the foodchain. (which in turn can mean less food/work for the fishermen too)

It is not often that I find anything this extensive on any of the Whale beachings which I googled in the last year or so.

In Australia, meanwhile the 17 surviving Whales, and Dolphins, will be transported to a sheltered bay tomorrow by truck.

With the announcement of the RSPCA on beached Cetaceans in UK waters, or rather UK beaches, that it is more humane to put an animal, which is too far from its (deep water) habitat, as with the Thames Whale in 2006, down there and then. Although I'm a strong believer in rescue where possible, I do believe that in some cases this might be a lot better decision. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of other opinions, I think.

One thing which caught my eye on the website, this morning, was that the RSPCA explains that one of the reasons why the Thames Whale died on the barge back to sea, was the crushing of its own body.
Would this mean that the remaining 17 Cetaceans in Australia's Hamlin Bay might meet a similar end, or is this my untrained eye which adds up the wrong facts? Loading these large Long Finned Whales onto a truck followed by a drive to their next release site, must be traumatising and dangerous for these animals?
Please tell me my thinking is wrong?
Well, I guess that tomorrow will tell us all.

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