March 2007 Strandings

I have been notified of two recent stranding events associated with noise pollution. The first is an account of three separate strandings of beaked whales in Japan this May. The article also relates that over 81 whales have stranded in Hokkaido since March of 2007. The article can be read here:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20080602p2a00m0na015000c.html

These standings continues the long tradition of military associated strandings that Bob Brownell pointed out in his 2004 report to the International Whaling Commission,
“Mass Strandings of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in Japan: U.S. Naval Acoustic Link?”

A second tragic stranding is currently playing out in the north west of Madagascar, at the The National Marine Park  and coastal des Iles Radama-Sahamalaza. I just received this news (see text below) and as of yet do not know details about the species, or if there is an attempted rescue of these animals. I will let you know as I hear more.

This event follows in the heels of two mass strandings of dolphins over the last year in the same region, associated with military sonar operations.

The ocean inhabitants are telling us something through these tragic deaths. We can no longer afford to speculate about the impacts of human generated noise on marine life, we need to forge ahead with action, despite the lack of “scientific certainty” as to the causes of these events.