Skip to content
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Corporates
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching

More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Naval exercise probable cause of largest dolphin stranding in UK

A scientific analysis of the UK’s largest common dolphin stranding off the coast of Cornwall in 2008 has stated that the most probable cause of the event were naval exercises in the area at the time.

The findings, published in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE refer to the deaths of at least 26 short-beaked common dolphins in Falmouth Bay on 9th June 2008 at the same time international naval exercises were taking place in the area using mid frequency sonar and helicopters. A similar number of dolphins were saved and herded back out to sea.

Examination of the dead dolphins at the time found them in good health with empty stomachs and no evidence of known infectious disease or acute physical injury. The recently published scientific analysis also rules out a number of potential causes or considers them ‘highly unlikely’. These include infectious diseases, collision with a boat, entanglement in fishing nets, attack from orcas or bottlenose dolphins, feeding unusually close to shore immediately prior to stranding, ingestion of harmful toxins, abnormal weather/climatic/tidal conditions and the presence in the area of acoustic surveys for gas and oil.

The analysis suggests that the strandings happened in two stages where a group of dolphins entered Falmouth Bay for some reason and, after three or four days in/around the Bay, a second acoustic/disturbance event occurred causing them to strand in large numbers.

The analysis concludes that an absence of other identifiable factors known to cause strandings of this size would indicate that the naval activity was the most probable cause of the UK’s largest mass dolphin stranding.

Read the report