Six northern bottlenose whales die in biggest living stranding of its kind in Irish history

0
157


Six whales have died and another is “likely” to perish in what is described as the largest living animal strand in Irish history.

The seven northern bottlenose dolphins were spotted stranded on a beach in Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, on Ireland’s northwest coast, earlier today.

Environmentalists rushed to the beach in a desperate attempt to help the stranded animals, which usually hunt in deeper water.

But the group could do little more than provide palliative care for the six whales, which are about 32 feet long and can weigh up to 16,530 lbs (7,500 kg).

Six of the whales died on the beach, while a seventh managed to refloat and was seen swimming.

Experts say hope for survival is low, but Sibeal Regan of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) told Sky News she was “cautiously optimistic.”

Ms Regan said that while investigations were underway to find the reason for the grounding, it was often caused by “acoustic trauma”, usually due to human activity.

The seven northern bottlenose dolphins were spotted stranded on a beach in Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, on Ireland’s northwest coast, earlier today.

Environmentalists rushed to the beach (pictured) in a desperate attempt to help stranded animals, which typically hunt in deeper water

Environmentalists rushed to the beach (pictured) in a desperate attempt to help stranded animals, which typically hunt in deeper water

But the group could do little more than provide palliative care for the six whales, which are about 32 feet long and can weigh up to 16,530 lbs (7,500 kg).

But the group could do little more than provide palliative care for the six whales, which are about 32 feet long and can weigh up to 16,530 lbs (7,500 kg).

The northern bottlenose whale: one of the deepest mammals in the world

The bottlenose whale is a type of bottlenose dolphin endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean.

It is known to have a very distinctive bulbous forehead and a dolphin-shaped beak.

They can grow to around 32 feet in length and weigh up to 16,530 lbs.

Northern bottlenose dolphins normally feed on squid.

They can dive to at least 1,500 meters and reach depths of 2,339 meters, and can stay underwater for up to two hours to catch their prey.

The current status of the Northern Bottlenose Whale population is unknown.

Populations have been depleted by commercial whaling, especially in the 20th century in Britain and Norway.

She told Sky News: “It’s very sad, but it’s a consolation to know that they are no longer in pain. “

Of the only remaining whale, she said, “It’s very dark. Because Northern Bottlenose Whales dive deeply, the fact that they are found in shallow coastal waters means their chances of surviving without the rest of their family are very low.

The group later said they would stay at the beach to check if the whale was resting.

The latest incident comes after the IWDG warned of a spike in animal strandings in the past year.

There have been 245 reported strandings involving 263 animals in the past year in Ireland, according to the group.

Many have had injuries that suggest they were entangled in fishing nets, the group said.

The group says the deaths coincide with the arrival of giant fishing vessels, called supertrawlers, which target fish near the surface but far from the sea in Irish waters in the fall.

Earlier this year, the group reported that a male Sowerby’s Beaked Whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor.

Whales, which are rarely seen, are normally found in the North Atlantic.

The group believe the whale, which later died, suffered from acoustic trauma – often caused by human activity, including noise from ships, noise from harbors and the use of naval radar systems.

Scientists believe that certain types of sound can cause panic in some sea creatures, while it puts others on alert, meaning they spend more time looking for predators, rather than performing essential activities.

Six of the whales died on the beach, while a seventh managed to refloat and was seen swimming

Six of the whales died on the beach, while a seventh managed to refloat and was seen swimming

There have been 245 reported strandings involving 263 animals in the past year in Ireland, according to the IWDG

There have been 245 reported strandings involving 263 animals in the past year in Ireland, according to the IWDG

What is acoustic trauma and why is it problematic for marine mammals?

Acoustic trauma is often caused by human activity, including noise from ships, noise from harbors and the use of naval radar systems.

Scientists believe that certain types of sound can cause panic in some sea creatures, while it puts others on alert, meaning they spend more time looking for predators, rather than performing essential activities.

Studies also show that dolphins will change their melody, lowering their frequency and reducing the variety of their song, in response to loud background noise.

Some whales stop singing at all, scientists say, posing major communication problems for their pods.

Research also shows that active sonar, used on some ships for navigation, can cause whales and dolphins to flee the area – which is considered to be one of the main reasons for strandings.

As dolphins and whales also use echolocation for their own navigation, it is believed that sonar could disturb animals as well.

Studies also show that dolphins will change their melody, lowering their frequency and reducing the variety of their song, in response to loud background noise.

Some whales stop singing at all, scientists say, posing major communication problems for their pods.

Research also shows that active sonar, used on some ships for navigation, can cause whales and dolphins to flee the area – which is considered to be one of the main reasons for strandings.

As dolphins and whales also use echolocation for their own navigation, it is believed that sonar could disturb animals as well.

In February this year, a 60-foot fin whale died after being stranded on a beach in Cornwall.

The whale stranded at Nare Point on the Lizard Peninsula with wounds all over its body.

Experts said it was likely the whale had not eaten for some time before beaching.

It had run aground following Storm Ciara, which hit the British coastline in February.

15ft basking shark died after stranding on a beach in Filey, North Yorkshire, in July

In December last year, a sperm whale died after being stranded in Scotland.

He was discovered to have a 220lb litter ball in his stomach, made up of human waste, including fishing nets, plastic cups and plastic bags.

The huge whale was alive when it was found stranded on Seilebost beach on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland on Thursday.

Experts from the Scottish Marine Animals Stranding Scheme (SMASS) say the 45-foot-long marine mammal died shortly after being stranded.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here