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...

Earthquake disrupts sperm whales’ feeding for a year

Sperm whales have large brains

A new study has revealed how an earthquake affected the ability of a group of ‘dazed and confused’ whales to find food for over a year.

Kaikoura is a coastal town on the South Island of New Zealand known for its abundant marine wildlife including a population of sperm whales.

On November 14th, 2016 a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the region triggering widespread mudslides in the underwater canyon off the coastline, altering the undersea landscape.

Scientists had been monitoring over 50 sperm whales in local waters for many years before the tremors hit. After the earthquake it was noticed that the whales spent about 25 per cent more time at the surface than before.

Researchers from the University of Otago had the advantage of all the previous data, so when the earthquake struck they knew where the sperm whales were and also their usual behaviour patterns.

‘With sperm whales, because they feed at deep depth and spend so much time underwater, it's hard to know exactly what is going on but you can use these times at the surface to determine what they are doing,’  says lead researcher, Dr Marta Guerra.

More time on the surface means the whales were probably spending time and effort diving and searching for food because of less prey to feed on or having to "re-familiarise" themselves with underwater areas that may have changed.

The study also found large underwater sounds produced by earthquakes and aftershocks caused hearing damage and behavioural changes.

The whales' behavioural changes lasted for around a year before returning to normal levels.

More fascinating facts about whales and dolphins.

Related News

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 Mammal Areas (IMMAs), from northern Mexico to the southern tip...
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 many species, but fewer whales means fewer carcasses and that's...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports there. Ironically, whilst delegates from around the world at COP27...
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 photographs.  Risso's dolphins are an amazing yet relatively little-known species....

Leave a Comment