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  #61  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
I would recommend a search from now on. Orcas are dolphins, not whales.
Orcas and dolphins are both toothed whales.
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  #62  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Orcas and dolphins are both toothed whales.
correct, but distinct from baleen whales, and we are talking humpback whales, they do not possess ecolocation, and are very dump compared to toothed whales. I was trying not to confuse, but mildly educate.
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  #63  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

FYI:
Hawaiian waters dangerous to whales - US news - Environment | NBC News

Whales find boats a deadly hazard off Hawaii
Record set this year for endangered humpbacks being hit by vessels
Below:x Jump to discuss comments below .discuss x Next story in Environment related
.Advertise. Reed Saxon / AP
A humpback whale leaps out of the water in what is called breaching, as viewed from a whale watching boat operated by the Pacific Whale Foundation off Maui.By Alexandre da Silva

updated 5/8/2006 9:06:58 AM ET 2006-05-08T13:06:58
Print Font: +-HONOLULU — Greg Kaufman says his whale-watching boat was doing everything by the book: cruising below 13 knots and staying 100 yards from any visible humpback as a crew member scanned the ocean atop a lookout.

Still, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Pacific Whale Foundation vessel from running over a calf that surged from underneath March 9.

It was one of seven confirmed encounters in the current breeding season, which is drawing to a close but already has set a record for such accidents. Between 1975 and 2005, there were 33 reported strikes involving whales and boats among the islands, with no more than three in one single season.

Environmental groups call the trend alarming, but researchers hope it has more to do with a rebound in the endangered species’ population than with negligent boaters.

“It’s some combination of increasing number of whales and just boats and whales in the same area at the same time,” said Jeff Walters, co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

1,000 calves at sea
The humpback population roaming the North Pacific, estimated at about 10,000, is believed to have been growing at an annual rate of about 7 percent since the mid-1990s. And as more whales swim to Hawaii from icy feeding grounds off Alaska, Canada, Russia and Japan, boaters are navigating around some 1,000 calves born in Hawaiian waters each year.

“As long as the population continues to get bigger, it’s going to keep happening,” said Joseph Mobley, a professor at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu who researches whales.

AdvertiseAdvertise
Advertise
.About 50 ships are involved in whale watching in Hawaii, carrying 300,000 passengers a year, mostly from Maui.


Reed Saxon / AP file
Tourists scan the horizon off Maui searching for whales from the stern of Ocean Quest, a whale watching boat operated by the Pacific Whale Foundation. Calves pose a greater danger because they need to surface more often — about every three to five minutes. But experts say the mothers, who mated here last year, are getting used to the attention and also edging closer to the vessels.

“It’s kind of like driving in a school zone,” said marine biologist David Schofield of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Humpbacks, which were placed under international protection in 1966, are also shielded under federal law. Boat drivers need to follow an “approach rule” that instructs them to travel below 13 knots, never leave the helm, post a lookout and stay 100 yards from whales.

Kaufman said a boat captain was doing just that when a calf surprised everyone aboard the company’s Ocean Spirit during an educational cruise for two schools in Maui.

“No matter how many best practices we put into effect, when one surfaces directly under your boat, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kaufman said.

Ideas on the table
Jeff Mikulina, director of Sierra Club of Hawaii, said he would like to see stricter enforcement of regulations and perhaps a limitation on the number of boats during the peak breeding season.

“We need to remember that we are the visitors here,” he said.

Scientists are doing research on sonar that would detect whales as far as five miles away, Mobley said. Initial tests have worked in calm waters, but the system may not work in heavy trade winds, which blow regularly in the islands. Propeller guards also could help reduce accidents.

Boat captains are required to notify NOAA officials of any accidents by calling a hot line. All but one of the seven whale collisions this season were reported, and at least three involved whale-watching boats.

It’s unclear what happens to injured whales, which despite their size can quickly disappear, sometimes with fatal gashes and internal wounds. It’s also hard to find 40-ton carcasses, which can sink or be eaten by sharks.

“Almost always we never find them,” said Ed Lyman, who is in charge of NOAA’s response team. “It’s like a needle in a haystack.”
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  #64  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Interesting Arcticle:

Humpback whales likely deaf to approaching boats | Alaska Newsreader | ADN.com
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  #65  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
correct, but distinct from baleen whales, and we are talking humpback whales, they do not possess ecolocation, and are very dump compared to toothed whales. I was trying not to confuse, but mildly educate.
I guess the term "killer whales" came to mind. In any event, whatever you call them, they both are a whole lot bigger than the boats we were in & are very spectacular on an "up close" basis.

Aside from keeping your distance, not much you can do about them.

The gray whale we encountered off Bodega Bay was apparently swimming right at us just under water, surfaced about 30 feet from us & just as quickly, went under the boat. He must/may have either seen or heard us or likely would have run into us? IIRC, it was a pretty rough day & we didn't see him until he was right on us, scary.

Paul T

Last edited by dabnis; 05-07-2014 at 07:28 PM.
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  #66  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Its going to get worse. Someday we will have to hunt them again.
It will get to the point where they will be competing with humans for food.
I think your still run a bigger risk today of your boat sinking from fire, then from a whale strike, but that's just a guess.
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  #67  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
Its going to get worse. Someday we will have to hunt them again.
It will get to the point where they will be competing with humans for food.
I think your still run a bigger risk today of your boat sinking from fire, then from a whale strike, but that's just a guess.
You could be right:
US studies humpback whale endangered list removal

US studies humpback whale endangered list removal
Aug 31, 2013 by Audrey Mcavoy

Humpback whale. Credit: NOAA.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched a review of whether it should take North Pacific humpback whales off the endangered species list.

NOAA Fisheries is responding to a petition filed by a group of Hawaii fishermen saying the whale should no longer be classified as endangered because its population has steadily grown since the international community banned commercial whaling nearly 50 years ago.

There are more than 21,000 humpback whales in the North Pacific, compared with about 1,400 in the mid-1960s.

The Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition Inc. filed the petition in April. It seeks to have NOAA Fisheries first classify humpback whales in the northern Pacific Ocean as a distinct population. Then, it asks the agency to declare that population is no longer endangered.

The agency, in a notice published in the Federal Register on Thursday, said the petition presents substantial scientific and commercial information indicating the population is distinct and that a delisting may be warranted. It will study the issue for the next year.

NOAA last removed a species from the endangered list in 2008, when it determined the Caribbean monk seal had gone extinct. The last time a species' recovery prompted delisting was in 1994, when the agency removed the eastern North Pacific population of gray whales from the list.

The Hawaii fishermen's petition is the first seeking to delist humpback whales since the animals were classified as endangered in 1970.

The group doesn't want whaling to resume and is not seeking permission to hunt the whales.

Instead, they want NOAA Fisheries to remove species from the endangered list when their populations have recovered to maintain a balance with other species that keep getting added.

Humpbacks are found around the world—globally they number about 60,000—but the petition is seeking delisting for whales only in the North Pacific.

More than half of those in the North Pacific spend the winter breeding and calving in Hawaii's warm waters, where they've become a major draw for tourists. North Pacific humpbacks also winter off Mexico, Central America, Japan and the Philippines.

In the summer, they migrate to feed on krill and fish in waters off Alaska, Canada and Russia.


And:
Federal government aims to remove humpback whale from endangered list | Toronto Star

Federal government (Canada) aims to remove humpback whale from endangered list
Canada’s Species at Risk Act will no longer protect humpback whales, as population recovers from near extinction

Ottawa says the North Pacific humpback whale population has recovered.

By: The Canadian Press, Published on Tue Apr 22 2014

VANCOUVER—In the midst of the heated debate over oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia, the federal environment minister has proposed improving the status of North Pacific humpback whales from threatened to “special concern.”

The whales have played a starring role in the campaign against oil pipelines and opponents accused the federal government Tuesday of removing a hurdle to the proposed multibillion-dollar Northern Gateway pipeline.

“What we’re seeing is that the government is stripping the humpbacks of legal protection at the very time that the Enbridge pipeline and tankers project is posing a serious threat to their recovery and survival,” said Caitlyn Vernon, of Sierra Club BC.

But the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, or COSEWIC, an independent group of scientists responsible for assessments, first recommended the improvement in status three years ago.

A federal official said the group was even asked to reconsider, to ensure the science was sound. Last fall, the recommendation again was to make the change.

“The decision that the government has made is based fundamentally on the scientific advice we got from COSEWIC,” said Trevor Swerdfager, a biologist and assistant deputy minister of ecosystems and fisheries management operations at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The timing was not related to any outside projects or pressures, he said.

“We didn’t take this out of context. We didn’t ask COSEWIC to work in a different way. We didn’t skew the results in any way, shape or form,” he said.

COSEWIC reclassified the whales on its own list in May 2011. Provincially, they are a blue-listed species, which means they’re “of special concern” and United States authorities are also considering upgrading its status for the whales.

After being hunted to near extinction in the early 20th century, biologists estimate the North Pacific population now consists of more than 18,000 animals, not including calves.

“We look at the scientific and biological information on extinction risk. That’s really all we focus on,” said Marty Leonard, committee chairwoman and a biologist at Dalhousie University.

Biologist and committee member Randall Reeves said the marine mammals panel did a rigorous review of the science.

“We have a responsibility as scientists and conservationists to call things as we see them, and this includes not only flagging situations where a species or population is at increased risk from human activities, but also acknowledging when (all too rarely) a wildlife population’s condition is holding its own or improving,” he wrote in an email from Asia, where he is currently conducting research.

Special concern is still a risk category, and the committee said that while the population is increasing, the whales have not returned to pre-whaling levels.

And the whales still face threats from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.

The Pacific humpback was central to a lawsuit brought against the federal government by B.C. environmental groups trying to force it to abide by the Species At Risk legislation.

In February, a Federal Court judge issued a damning decision that found the environment minister and the fisheries minister both broke the law by failing to abide by the Species at Risk Act.

It is also one of the reasons environmental groups have cited in asking the Federal Court to overturn a federal review panel recommendation in favour of the Northern Gateway project.

The reclassification would remove the legal obligation under the Species at Risk Act for the federal government to identify and protect critical humpback habitat.

But as a species of special concern, there remain protections under the Fisheries Act, Swerdfager said. Fisheries and Oceans must also come up with a management plan within three years.

“This is actually a bit of good news. We’ve got a species that is on a positive trend, population-wise. It’s not often that we’re in position to say actually, we’ve made some progress,” he said.
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  #68  
Old 05-07-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
It will get to the point where they will be competing with humans for food.
They already are. Aggressively. Ask any fisherman in SE Alaska. We have seen them feeding among the seine fleet sets and following the trollers.

One hatchery operator told us they seem to know the release schedule and wait outside the pens. They can swallow an entire release - thousands of salmon - in one gulp.

Then there are the sea lions and Orcas (They still call them Killer Whales in Alaska). Top level predators all competing for the same food supply.
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  #69  
Old 05-08-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Yeah... And they are breathing the same air...
Nasty creatures!
Why not get rid of them? Or probably all of those animals consuming OUR air and food, keep the foodstock though, and the cute pets...
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Old 05-08-2014
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Re: Dangers of Whales

Can you imagine careening along at 17 knots in an Open60 with a 12 foot weighted dagger board and hitting a surfacing whale? Definitely not kosher. We need some kind of deer whistle for boats.

My brother worked on a nuclear sub and said occasionally a whale would try to mate with them and knocked everyone down.
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