[MARMAM] Correspondance in Nature: Whales: No mass strandings since sonar ban

Antonio Antonio
Tue May 21 04:49:39 PDT 2013



Dear MARMAM subscribers:  

 We are pleased to announce the publication of the following correspondence NATURE:  

  WHALES: No mass strandings since sonar ban 

Antonio Fernandez, Manuel Arbelo, Vidal Martín  

Corresponding author: afernandez at dmor.ulpgc.es 

Institute of Animal Health, Veterinary School, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Trasmontaña S/N, 35416 Arucas, Las Palmas, Spain. SECAC. Lanzarote. Spain  

SCIENTISTS FROM INSTITUTE OF ANIMAL HEALTH AT UNIVERSITY OF LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA AND SECAC LED BY DR. ANTONIO FERNáNDEZ HAVE PUBLISHED CONCLUSIONS ON CETACEAN STRANDINGS´RESEARCH DONE DURING THE LAST 9 YEARS. CAUSES OF STRANDING AND DEATH HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED ON EACH STRANDED WHALE AND DOLPHIN IN THE CANARY ISLANDS.  

PROMPT POLITICAL ACTION MAY HAVE RESULTED IN A REMARKABLE CONSERVATION SUCCESS FOR WHALES AND DOLPHINS. THE CANARY ISLANDS USED TO BE A HOTSPOT FOR MASS STRANDINGS, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN NO MASS BEACHINGS SINCE THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT IMPOSED A MORATORIUM ON NAVAL EXERCISES IN THESE WATERS IN 2004.  

NAVAL SONAR OPERATIONS HAVE LONG BEEN IMPLICATED IN MASS STRANDINGS, PARTICULARLY OF BEAKED WHALES (R. FILADELFO /ET AL. AQUAT. MAMM. /35, 435–444; 2009). IN 2002, THE STRANDING OF 14 BEAKED WHALES IN THE CANARY ISLANDS WAS LINKED TO THE USE OF MID-FREQUENCY NAVAL SONAR IN THE AREA (P. D. JEPSON /ET AL. NATURE /425, 575–576; 2003). IN 2004, FOUR CUVIER’S BEAKED WHALES (/ZIPHIUS CAVIROSTRIS/) WERE STRANDED THERE AFTER AN INTERNATIONAL NAVAL EXERCISE (A. FERNáNDEZ /ET AL. J. MAR. SCI. RES. DEV/. 2, 2; 2012). 

THESE EVENTS PROMPTED THE SPANISH MORATORIUM AND LED THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO ISSUE A NON-BINDING RESOLUTION IN 2004 TO STOP THE DEPLOYMENT OF HIGH-INTENSITY SONAR UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF A GLOBAL ASSESSMENT OF ITS CUMULATIVE EFFECTS ON MARINE LIFE.
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