Half Of The World’s Orcas Will Die Due To Chemical Banned Decades Ago – Sea Voice News

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Our actions today will impact those lives of lives of tomorrow. That phrase has never rang so true as new research has just revealed that half of the world’s orca populations will die to toxic and persistent pollution of the oceans.

The chemical that will cause the death of the killer whales are PCBs which have been banned for decades. Although the ban has been in place, PCBs are still heavily leaking into the ocean. Because PCBs become more concentrated higher upon the food chain, the killer whale, which is the top predators, are the most contaminated animals on the planet. Making it worse, their fat-rich milk passes on very high doses to their newborn calves.

The new research, published in the journal Science, examined PCB contamination in 351 killer whales, the largest analysis yet. The scientists then took existing data on how PCBs affect calf survival and immune systems in whales and used this to model how populations will fare in the future. “Populations of Japan, Brazil, Northeast Pacific, Strait of Gibraltar, and the United Kingdom are all tending toward complete collapse,” they concluded.

PCB concentrations found in killer whales can be 100 times safe levels and severely damage reproductive organs, cause cancer and damage the immune system. The new research analysed the prospects for killer whale populations over the next century and found those offshore from industrialised nations could vanish as soon as 30-50 years.

“It is like a killer whale apocalypse,” said Paul Jepson at the Zoological Society of London, part of the international research team behind the new study. “Even in a pristine condition they are very slow to reproduce.” Healthy killer whales take 20 years to reach peak sexual maturity and 18 months to gestate a calf.

PCBs were used around the world since the 1930s in electrical components, plastics and paints but their toxicity has been known for 50 years. They were banned by nations in the 1970s and 1980s but 80% of the 1m tons produced have yet to be destroyed and are still leaking into the seas from landfills and other sources.

The researchers said PCBs are just one pollutant found in killer whales, with “a long list of additional known and as yet unmeasured contaminants present”. Further problems for killer whales include the loss of key prey species such as tuna and sharks to overfishing and also growing underwater noise pollution.

“This new study is a global red alert on the state of our oceans,” said Jennifer Lonsdale, chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s whales group. “If the UK government wants its [proposed] Environment Act to be world-leading, it must set ambitious targets on PCB disposal and protect against further chemical pollution of our waters.”

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/28/half-of-the-worlds-orcas-will-die-due-to-chemical-banned-decades-ago/

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Save Declining Southern Resident Orcas

The number of Southern Resident Orca whales has hit its lowest point in 30 years thanks to the disappearance of the species’ food source and plans to build an oil pipeline in the ocean. We cannot risk the possibility of these whales dying out completely within just a few short years. Sign this petition to demand stronger protection and conservation efforts to save this species.

Source: Save Declining Southern Resident Orcas

Endangered Orcas In The Pacific Northwest Just Suffered Another Heartbreaking Loss | Care2 Causes

By: Alicia Graef
September 29, 2017
Highly endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest continue to face a host of threats to their survival, and now they’ve suffered another heartbreaking loss with the death of a young male.

These orcas, otherwise known as the southern resident killer whales (SRKW), live in three distinct pods (J,K and L), who travel through Puget Sound, the Straight of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the summer months before migrating to open ocean in the winter.

Tragically, even with live captures being banned, federal protection in the U.S. and Canada and millions spent on research and recovery efforts, they’ve yet to make a comeback.
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

This week, the Center for Whale Research, which keeps an official census of these orcas, broke devastating news with an announcement that a two-year-old male, Sonic (J52), had passed away. He is believed to have died from malnutrition.

According to CWR, he was last seen on September 15, looking lethargic, while photos taken at the time showed severe “peanut-head” syndrome (when their head becomes concave around the blowhole), which is associated with impending death. He was with his mother and another adult male, who were tending to him miles away from the rest of the pod, and was believed to be “hours, if not minutes” away from death at the time. His mother and the male were spotted days later, but he was gone.

Sonic was part of the so-called baby boom for these orcas that began in 2014, but as CWR noted, with his passing three of the six whales born in the J pod during that boom have died, along with two mothers and a great-grandmother.  

Their population has dropped from 83 as of last year, to just 76 individuals today (not counting Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium), and time to save them is quickly running out.

While they continue to face a number of compounding threats ranging from boat traffic and noise to toxic pollutants, many believe the biggest problem now is a lack of food. Their main food source, Chinook salmon, is also endangered due to habitat loss, overfishing, and having their migration and spawning grounds blocked by hydroelectric dams.

“If something isn’t done to enhance SRKW prey availability almost immediately (it takes a few years for a Chinook salmon to mature and reproduce, and it takes about twelve years for a female SRKW to mature and reproduce), extinction of this charismatic resident population of killer whales is inevitable in the calculable future,” wrote Kenneth Balcolm, CWR’s founder.

Advocates for these orcas have pushed to expand critical habitat, with widespread public support, and are continuing to call for immediate action to help them survive, particularly calling for the removal of four lower Snake River dams in Washington and on the Klamath River in Oregon and Northern California, which is expected to have a huge impact on salmon recovery. Hopefully Sonic’s death will increase public pressure and help garner the political will to accomplish more protective measures.

For more on how to help, check out the Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative, Center for Whale Research, Orca Network and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.   
http://www.care2.com/causes/endangered-orcas-in-the-pacific-northwest-just-suffered-another-heartbreaking-loss.html

Photo credit: Thinkstock
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Care2 Team Blog

Protect Endangered Orcas from Big Oil

The last remaining orcas in a pristine ocean habitat could be killed off soon by a pipeline expansion. The pipeline would make the orca habitat unlivable and increase the risks of an oil spill. Sign this petition to ask Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to oppose this project and save these majestic creatures.

Source: Protect Endangered Orcas from Big Oil

Video

Watch this scared seal jump onto a boat to escape hungry killer whales | WPMT FOX43

WARNING: Video contains profanity

VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. — A seal narrowly escaped being eaten by some hungry killer whales off of Vancouver Island on Monday.

The mammal jumped onto the back of a tour boat to escape the swarming pod of orcas.

Nick Templeman, who runs Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, captured the moments after the seal took refuge on the boat.

“Once he got a look at the boat, he made a straight beeline for us,” Templeman said.

As if a seal jumping on your tour boat wasn’t exciting enough, things got even more interesting for this sightseeing group. About a dozen orcas started circling the boat trying to find their prey.

“We had four or five orcas all at once sitting at the back of the boat straight up and down sort of looking at the seal,” said Templeman. “They would dive and they would all disappear — about 12 of them — and you can see shape after shape trying to come up from under the boat.”

The tour group was boating off the coast of Vancouver Island, which is off Canada’s Pacific Coast. The area is known for it’s vast whale watching adventures.

“The seal did get scared during the encounter,” said Templeman. “He would get in the water, swim back up and get back on the boat.”

Templeman, who has been whale watching for 20 years, said he hasn’t seen an orca hunt this extreme.

“This was not one family group but three or four family groups.”

After about 30 minutes, the whales gave up and moved on.

“The seal took a few minutes, went into the water, hesitated around the engines and then left,” said Templeman.

Kirk Fraser, who posted the video on YouTube, wrote about the video: “We were out with the family looking for whales and a pod of 12 transient killer whales where chasing the seal. It ripped towards the boat in a desperate escape and scrambled on the deck. It fell off three times in panic and finally stayed on until the whales gave up after about 30-45 minutes. Most intense epic experience ever. Love you Nature. What a lucky seal”

Topics: seal, tour boat, viral video

 

Free All Captive Whales and Dolphins in Europe

Intelligent marine mammals, such as bottlenose dolphins and orca whales, are forced to perform for audiences all around the world. The European Union is one of the worst offenders and holds little respect for these amazing animals. Urge the EU to finally free its captive cetaceans.

Source: Free All Captive Whales and Dolphins in Europe

petition: Save Russian Orcas From Being Captured and Put on Display, Russian Federation

tmp_6539-803167-1457812046-wide-1404963905http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/803/167/200/

Act Now to End Orca Captivity in the U.S.

orca

https://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/act-now-to-end-orca-captivity-in-the-u-s?cmpid=tpnews-eml-2016-03-12-Literacy

End Capture of Killer Whales for Entertainment

End Capture of Killer Whales for Entertainment.

7/2/15 – New Petition To Free ‘Lolita’ – Please Sign and Crosspost.

Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

lolita

lolita pool

7/2/15 – there is a new petition which has started to free Lolita

– here is the link; please make sure you sign and pass on to everyone that you are able

– Thanks SAV.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/405/655/036/free-lolita/

pet2

and pass on to all that you know !!

lolita pool

 In this dump since she was captured in 1970 – FREE HER NOW

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Charges against Seaworld and dolphin and whale rights filed This week (yesterday)

Captive Orcas Can Learn How to Speak Dolphin, Researchers Say

TIME

Captive orcas who live with dolphins are capable of imitating their sounds, joining an exclusive list of species that are capable of modifying their voices or learning new vocalizations, according to a new study published this month in Acoustical Society of America.

Researchers analyzed 10 captive orcas, seven who lived with only other orcas, and three who lived with only bottlenose dolphins. They discovered that the three orcas who interacted with only dolphins made dolphin-like whistles, clicks and buzzes, while the other seven orcas communicated almost entirely with typical whale pulses. The findings build on two-year-old research that showed that dolphins could similarly mimic sounds of whales and other animals, according to Science Magazine.

Only a few species are capable of vocal learning, a group that includes humans, birds, elephants, bats, seals and dolphins, along with now the orcas, whose acoustic imitation abilities previously had been studied only…

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Killer whales learn to ‘talk’ like bottlenose dolphins | MNN – Mother Nature Network

digger666

via Killer whales learn to ‘talk’ like bottlenose dolphins | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

Orcas who spent time around bottlenose dolphins learned to imitate their famous clicks and whistles, a new study finds, further demonstrating the depth of killer whales’ intelligence and social complexity.

Thu, Oct 09, 2014

A wild killer whale leaps into the air off the U.S. West Coast. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Killer whales are among the few animals on Earth capable of vocal learning, or the ability to pick up new vocalizations by imitating someone else’s. It’s the basis for language, and it lets pods of killer whales — aka orcas — develop “dialects” that are likely passed down from generation to generation.
According to a new study, though, killer whales don’t necessarily stop at imitating each other. They’re also capable of learning a different species’ language, the study’s authors found…

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Orca Welfare and Safety Act

Stop SeaWorld

Sign this petition to help pass a law that makes it illegal to hold orcas in captivity from the State of California. The Act makes it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” 

SeaWorld’s worst nightmare: Lawmaker proposes ban on orcas in captivity

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Stop Promotion of Cruelty Against Orcas

Stop Promotion of Cruelty Against Orcas.

Rare White Orca Sighted Off Russian Coast

The ocean update

orca-white-RussiaSeptember 26th, 2014. Researchers tracking whales off the coast of Russia sighted, and were able to film, one of the rarest of all cetaceans : a juvenile white orca, an animal that has only been observed a handful of times in the wild.

The scientists were engaged in research for the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) when they spotted the whale, according to the Daily Mail. The team was operating off the southeastern coast of Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula and the Northern Kuril Islands, surveying the area as part of a project focused on humpback whales, when the sighting occurred. Orcas have previously been sighted in the region, yet few have been so rare.

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Pod pushed orca to surface (New Zealand)

The ocean update

UNDERWATER RESCUE: The orca ‘Dian’ found entangled in a cray pot line on Monday had help from the rest of the pod which pushed it to the surface to breathe. UNDERWATER RESCUE: The orca ‘Dian’ found entangled in a cray pot line on Monday had help from the rest of the pod which pushed it to the surface to breathe.

September 11th, 2014 (Chris Thompson). A 6 metre orca called Dian had to be rescued about a kilometre east of Kawau Island, Hauraki Gulf, after it got stuck in a cray pot line.

It would not have survived but for the remarkable actions of five orcas, including her own calf, pushing the exhausted and entangled orca to the surface so it could breathe, rescuers say.

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Could This Penalty Spell the End of Killer Whales Swimming With Trainers?