Last year incredible 337 Sei whales were found beached off at the coast of Southern Chile alone. According to the experts this is one of the largest whale-stranding ever. Scientists came up with number of 305 whale bodies and 32 skeletons with the help of aerial and satellite photography. The cause of these strandings is unknown and considering the fact that this incident occurred with many whales together is very worrying, for many reasons.
Carolina Simon Gutstein, a paleontologist at the University of Chile says: “Their death probably occurred at sea, but we don’t know the exact locations. What we do know is that they didn’t just die by stranding.”
Sei whales are part of the same family as humpback and blue whales known as the rorquals family, which is the biggest family of baleen whales. The fact that these whales have never been together in big groups is also quite unusual. Unfortunately, sei whales are a threaten species.
The last reported beaching similar to this one has happened in the period between 1999 and 2001. During this incident 600 gray whales stranded on the North American Pacific Coast from Alaska to Mexico.
Scientists are confused and cannot discover the real cause of the incident. We don’t know much about whales, although they are very intelligent.
We are surely missing something. It is time to pay attention to some other problems that are linked with this subject.
Military Sonar Testing
We all know that the United States military makes underwater testing of explosive weapons and sonar devices. These tests are happening in the Atlantic and The Pacific Oceans. Also, there are tests Gulf of Mexico that are happening this very moment. These tests began in 2014 and should last until 2019.
Particular connection between these tests and this incident hasn’t been found, but we mustn’t ignore these tests. The whales have been found beached just before these tests began, so we should be suspicious about this military action. A little awareness about it will not do any damage.
Sonar testing is surely causing damage. In 2009 Scientific American published a study about the impact of military sonar testing on marine life, proving that it can and has resulted with injuries and even death of sea animals. It was also concluded that the animals were making everything they can in order to avoid the noise:
Sadly for many dolphins, whales and other sea animals, the underwater sonar can cause many injuries and death. The sonar system was firstly developed by the U.S. Navy in order to find the submarines- producing slow rolling sound waves topping out at 235 decibels; the loudest rock in the world bands out at only 130. These sound waves can reach hundreds of miles under water and are able to withhold an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from the source.
There is no doubt that these waves are harmful for the sea animals. There are proofs that confirm the direct physiological impacts of sonar waves on the sea animals. The whales could swim hundreds of miles, changing their depth too fast (sometimes this causes bleeding from the eyes and ears), and they could even look for salvation from the sonar waves at the beaches.
The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) policy analyst Michael Jasny, says that even the mid-frequency waves disturb feeding habits in baleen whales and could leave negative impact on entire populations. The NRDC quotes several mass beaching caused by sonar, such as 200 beached melon-headed whales back in 2004 at the cost of Hawaii.
More interestingly, the Navy is not denying these incidents. They also state that most of the deaths are result of explosives, animals being hit by ships and sonar. But the Navy’s reports cannot be trusted and they estimate that this could kill hundreds of whales. They are making this estimate based on total testing and practicing hours with sonar, missiles, torpedoes, explosives and other military equipment for 5 years. These actions have caused thousands of deaths. The Green Peace states that the government forecasts 138,500 whales and dolphins will be killed or injured.
Sociable interests are also considered here because the exploration companies are also using harmful blasts of noise while looking for oil and gas in the ocean. The United States Department of the Interior is taking into consideration allowing geophysical companies that work for the oil and gas companies to use these methods in the Atlantic Ocean, from Delaware to Florida:
There aren’t any noise-cancelling headphones to disable the U.S. Navy’s 235-decibel sonar waves of intolerable battering and metallic screaming. At 200 decibels the vibrations are capable of rupturing your lungs, and under 210 decibels the deadly noise will drill straight through your brain until it hemorrhages that fragile tissue. This sonar blast will surely leave you death.
This is the everyday life of the sea mammals killed by the U.S. Navy’s all-out acoustic torment across the world’s oceans. The side effect of this intensive military sonar is terrible. But these incidents in which innocent animals are dying in huge numbers are out of the public’s sight.
Ken Balcomb is an Orca expert described this “acoustic holocaust” as brutal and inhumane death sentence.
Dead Whales Bringing Us A Message In Their Stomachs
A study released in The Proceedings Of The National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) discovered that minimum of 88% of the oceans’ surface around the world is covered with plastic waste. The study was made by the experts from University of Cadiz, Spain in cooperation with the experts from University of Western Australia. These facts are worrying about the health of the sea animals, climate, food chains and many other factors. The plastic products were firstly incorporated during the 1950’s and ever since, the amount of global production of plastic has been raised extremely and this trend with continue in the upcoming years and decades, until we decide to find a new method and approach.
People are aware that there are many ways to live in harmony with our planet and use its resources smarter and better, but we still choose to kill our planet. But soon, time will come when we cannot do this anymore.
Many whales who ended up dead at various beaches had stomachs filled with plastic. In the summer of 2013 a sperm whale stranded on Tershelling, a Northern Island in the Netherlands. The whale had 56 various plastic items that weighted more than 36 pounds. In April 2010 the whale had 20 plastic bags, small towels, plastic pieces, surgical gloves, duct tape and many other items in its stomach. In March 2013 a sperm whale was found on the coast of Spain with additional 17 kg of plastic waste in its stomach.
This list is very long. And only the whales that ended up on the beaches are included in this list. There are many other whales and sea animals that haven’t been found and had the same destiny as these whales.
Sadly, these strandings happen too often. In 1989 a beached sperm whale in the Lavezzi Islands ended up death as a result of stomach blockage. This whale ingested plastic bags and 100 feet of plastic waste. A sperm whale in Island died because of total blockage of the gut with plastic waste. In August 2008, a sperm whale was found near the beach of Point Reyes, California with 460 pounds of fishing net, rope and plastic bags. In 2008 the California Marine Mammal Stranding Database added another sperm whale with large quantity of plastic waste and fish nets in the stomach.
These are only the few cases, there are many more.
We are using too much plastic and it is more and more visible today. Probably, you have already heard about “The Great Garbage Patch”, an area as large as Queensland, Australia. It is estimated that there are 1 million tones of plastic waste gathered together the ocean. If you put a net in this area of the ocean you will surely gather big amount of plastic. This video will tell you a lot about this problem:
If the world elite decided to use their resources and clean the planet, they will surely be successful. Sadly, our society has become greedy and worries about the profit and economic expansion, while the well-being of our home and those who live on this planet are ignored.
The only way to make a difference and change the things in positive way is collective desire by everyone on this planet. The education about the current state of our planet is very important for everyone if we like to increase the awareness for the important problems that we fight against every day. This is where the alternative media outlets step up. They increase the alertness and light up the problems which are covered by the corporate media.
The planet is already telling us to find another ways, and the change must to start in each of us. We must stop the toxic industrial practices. Today, we all know that safer and green technology is well developed today and if we wanted, we would substitute the plastic with hemp or other materials. There are numerous options, but we aren’t implementing them.
Producing plastics with hemp or other biodegradable materials is one of the options. We can also develop cleaning technologies. Boyan Slat is 19 years old boy who came up with a device that is capable of cleaning 7.250.00 tones of plastic and waste from the oceans in 5 years. Today, Boyan is 20 years old and is CEO of the Ocean Cleanup Project. He reports that his project will start this years.