Sunday 21st of July 2024

prisons for whales...

prisons for whales
More than 100 whales are languishing in tightly-packed pens in a shocking ‘whale prison’ in Srednyaya Bay, Russia. Activists fear they will be sold to China where they’ll be imprisoned and forced to perform tricks in marine parks.


Activists say 90 Beluga whales and 11 Orca whales are trapped in holding pens after likely being captured and cruelly torn from their pods in the wild. Drone footage shows the whales swimming forlornly inside their small prisons.    

It’s difficult to tell how old the whales are, but because there are many in each pen, they could be young. Orca whales usually stay with their mothers for a number of years and can be traumatised when they are separated.

“Under the guise of enlightenment and culture, dirty business is conducted on rare orcas. Currently 13 killer whales are being exported from Russia to China,” Greenpeace told RIA Novosti.

READ MORE: Rare 10-million-year-old whale dug up in Crimea (PHOTOS)

“They were caught in 2018, allegedly for educational and cultural purposes, but in fact it is about commerce with fabulous profits. You can earn several million dollars in one killer whale.”

Another worrying video from the mysterious whale prison near Nakhodka in Russia’s Far East shows a whale being transported by a crane from one tank to another, suggesting the whales could already be on their way to China, where a booming marine park market is driving demand for captured whales. There are 60 marine parks in the country, with an additional 36 opening in the next two years.


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the cost of entertainment...

whales for sale

the cost of PCBs to the killer whales...

PCB—still a problem

Until they were recognized as highly toxic and carcinogenic, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were once used widely. Their production was banned in the United States in 1978, though they are still produced globally and persist in the environment. Persistent organic compounds, like PCBs, magnify across trophic levels, and thus apex predators are particularly susceptible to their ill effects. Desforges et al. looked at the continuing impact of PCBs on one of the largest marine predators, the killer whale. Using globally available data, the authors found high concentrations of PCBs within killer whale tissues. These are likely to precipitate declines across killer whale populations, particularly those that feed at high trophic levels and are the closest to industrialized areas.

Science, this issue p. 1373


Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are among the most highly polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)–contaminated mammals in the world, raising concern about the health consequences of current PCB exposures. Using an individual-based model framework and globally available data on PCB concentrations in killer whale tissues, we show that PCB-mediated effects on reproduction and immune function threaten the long-term viability of >50% of the world’s killer whale populations. PCB-mediated effects over the coming 100 years predicted that killer whale populations near industrialized regions, and those feeding at high trophic levels regardless of location, are at high risk of population collapse. Despite a near-global ban of PCBs more than 30 years ago, the world’s killer whales illustrate the troubling persistence of this chemical class.

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If Gus understands correctly from other articles on PCBs, there is not a single inventory of the amount of PCBs ever produced on this planet by humans. PCBs do not exist in a natural state (apart from a simple compound found in tar) and have been banned from manufactured in many countries due to their strong carcinogenic properties and also due to their strong fertility reducing properties. Some countries still manufacture PCBs. The closest figure to date, though possibly underestimated, is that 1.3 million tonnes of these long lasting basically indestructible slow-killing "poisons" (aligned with dioxins) have been released into the environment and 9 million tonnes are kept in holding tanks, awaiting a new chemical "invention" to destroy them.


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good news about the humpbacks...

Humpback whales, once hunted around the world to the point that they became so rare that the industry built on their blubber went belly-up, is booming.

The world's largest humpback whale population is particularly strong in Australia's Kimberley, a region that provides ideal and undeveloped calving grounds, researchers say.

Since the whaling stations were closed, humpbacks that visit Western Australia have become the good news story that defies the trend of environmental doom and gloom.

Many travel all the way up Australia's west coast to the remote Kimberley — a region twice the area of the United Kingdom with just 50,000 residents.

So why do whales visit the Kimberley and what threats do they face? 

That was a question audience member Ric Kornaus put for the ABC to investigate for our Curious Kimberley series.

Mr Kornaus first visited the Kimberley in the 1980s and enjoyed camping on the remote coast north of the small town of Broome.

Since that time, Broome has become a popular tourist destination and mining and gas projects have been developed along the coast, prompting Mr Kornaus to ask what impact this has had on the whales that visit the Kimberley.

"What is the affect on them, whether their numbers are dropping or static, or what?" he asked.

Back from the brink

Curt Jenner and his wife Micheline started studying humpback whales on the west coast of Australia almost 30 years ago in an effort to find out if they could recover from near annihilation.

"We were trying to understand if the Western Australian population, which is historically the largest population on the planet … was actually recovering," he said.

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harnessing the whales...

Norwegian officials say a beluga whale may have escaped a Russian military facility after local fishermen discovered the animal wearing a tight harness with Russian origins last week.

Key points: 
  • A beluga whale wearing a harness swam up to a Norwegian fishing boat last week 
  • One professor believed it was "most likely" that Russian Navy was involved
  • He said scholars in Russia and Norway had not reported any program or experiments using beluga whales


Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries said "Equipment St. Petersburg" was written on the harness strap, which featured a mount for an action camera.

He said fishermen in Arctic waters last week reported the tame white cetacean with the tight harness to the directorate.

On Friday, fisherman Joar Hesten, aided by Mr Ree Wiig, jumped into the frigid water to remove the harness.

Mr Ree Wiig said "people in Norway's military have shown great interest" in the harness.


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Is this really a weapon? Or a simple trace to see where Belugas goe to frolic, without infecting the animal? See for example this article:


Orca Killed by Satellite Tag Leads to Criticism of Science Practices

The death of a rare killer whale in the Pacific Northwest has been linked to a tagging effort, causing an outcry and re-evaluation by the science community.


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comrade belugov...

Белухи снова в Сочи!

Сегодня, 20 марта в акватории Морского порта Сочи белухи (белые киты) очередной раз навестили сочинцев! 
Стоить напомнить, что 25 марта 2015 году, белый кит также был замечены у Морского порта (ссылка на прошлую новость: Обычно их можно встретить во всех прибрежных водах Арктического бассейна, а также Белого, Берингова и Охотского морей, зимой иногда заходят в Балтийское море. 
Точной информации нет, но некоторые считают, что кит из отряда боевых дельфинов, которые охраняли сочинский морской порт во время зимних Олимпийских игр. Перед Олимпиадой в районе Южного мола появился небольшой загон, где можно было заметить белух.
Белуха (белый кит) - представитель семейства нарваловых, подотряда зубатых китов, отряда китообразные. Крупнейшие самцы достигают 6 м. длины и 2 т. массы; самки мельче. Взрослая особь потребляет в день около 15 кг. пищи.
#СмотриСочи #SSochi #Сочи #Sochi #Новости #НовостиСочи #БелыйКит #Белуха #Белухи#ЧерноеМоре



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Obviously a spy...

not a spy... but a norwegian clown...

In a dramatic departure from its usual reliability it appears the media has got the ‘Russian spy whale’ story all wrong. Far from being a secret agent a new report suggests the whale actually provides therapy to troubled children.

The, seemingly slandered, white beluga whale was the subject of countless newspaper articles and news packages last week as Western media outlets fell over themselves to engage in their latest round of Russia bashing.

Many of the breathless reports noted that the whale, who was dubbed “Hvladimir” in Norwegian media, had a very playful disposition and was friendly towards humans. Now a fresh report from Norway’s Fiskeribladet newspaper suggests there’s a good reason for that: the whale was trained to entertain and offer comfort to children suffering from mental health problems.

Morten Vikeby, a former journalist at the newspaper, did a story on whales trained for therapy purposes near Russia’s border with Norway back in 2008. He said he believes the tame whale which appeared off the eastern coast of Norway is called Semion as he recognized it from his visit to the facility. The newspaper published archived video footage from the visit on Tuesday.


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