[MARMAM] Photo and update on the recent atypical mass stranding of Cuvier's beaked whales in SE Crete

Alexandros Frantzis afrantzis at otenet.gr
Sun Apr 6 07:13:13 PDT 2014

Dear all,

Following the many tens of e-mails that we received, we would like to 
express our gratitude for your interest and support and answer some of 
your questions with an update, now that more data are available.

The atypical mass stranding spanned 2 days (1st and 2nd April ) and 
involved five single stranding events involving 3, 2, 1, 1 and 1 
individuals. According to the analysis conducted so far, a minimum of 
five (but analysis is on going) and a maximum of seven individuals were 
recorded (two single standing events concerned the same individual and 
the two individuals of another event cannot be identified).

The distance between the western and eastern stranding locations for the 
strandings of the 1st April was 16.5 km in straight line. The single 
stranding of the 2nd of April occurred 4.1 km further west of the 
western stranding location of the 1st of April.

/(While writing this message and according to preliminary information 
from the local port-police authorities, three more reports of three 
different stranding events became available. They occurred the 3rd or 
4th, the 5th and 6th April and all involved single animals. The two 
first concerned live animals re-floated and the last one (today 6th 
April) a dead animal still being on the beach. All of them occurred at a 
distance of less than 1 km between each other and took place in a 
location about 48 km west of the stranding event of the 2nd of April. 
These news are very important and indicate that the impact of the 
exercise may concern a very large sea area./)*
Two of the stranded whales died (all others were re-floated and not seen 
so far) and necropsies were performed on both of them (the whale that 
was disposed according to our first message was recovered). The 
necropsies were conducted under the guidance of Dr. Anastasia Komnenou, 
Veterinary School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Please 
address any questions regarding the necropsies and the histopathological 
findings directly to her.

At least one of the photos of the stranding event is amazing and can 
greatly contribute to the conservation of beaked whales. Therefore, we 
thought that sharing it with the entire cetological community can help 
our common goal to protect the beaked whales from navy sonar and 
anthropogenic sound in general. Please feel free to upload and 
distribute the photo as attached to raise public awareness or for 
educational purposes (you have no right of use for commercial purposes).

All best,


Dr. Alexandros Frantzis
Scientific director
Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute
Terpsichoris 21
16671 Vouliagmeni,
Tel.: +30-210-8960108
e-mail:afrantzis at otenet.gr  

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