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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

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Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Dolphin deaths report released by South Australian Govt. Working Group

The Inter-Agency Marine Life Deaths Working Group has released its first report on the recent spate of dolphin and fish deaths in Gulf St. Vincent in South Australia (SA) and associated waters. Of the 34 dolphins found, six had been tested for morbillivirus by the time that the report was released, and the results were positive. This is the first time that this particular virus has been found in SA waters.

Morbillivirus is thought to cause suppression of the immune system that allows other diseases, such as fungus and parasites to thrive. Younger dolphins are particularly susceptible, and comprised the vast majority of the dead dolphins found.

Issues that the report has not been able to address include how did the virus enter SA waters, or if it was already here, and what conditions caused it to suddenly impact on the local population. It is also unknown whether the local population will now acquire immunity to the virus.

Luckily, the virus has yet to impact on Adelaide’s Port River dolphin population, with the only death during the March/ April period being a young calf known as Mimo. Initial examination of Mimo indicated the death to be caused by a physical defect. Mimo has yet to be tested for morbillivirus.

The report is attached.