Whale Strandings, New Zealand


Wellington, New Zealand Dec 31 - The 18 surviving pilot whales from yesterday's stranding at Farewell Spit were swimming strongly in Golden Bay, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said this afternoon.

Around midday yesterday 28 long-finned pilot whales stranded on the spit, at the top of the west coast of the South Island, and five died.

Pilot Whale Stranding in Tasmania

Melbourne, Dec 27

Six pilot whales had beached on King Island in Bass Strait, Tasmanian police said today.

A police officer and veterinary surgeon were on hand to assess their plight, Sergeant Geoff Fletcher said.

Director of Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Max Kitchell said a rescue bid may be mounted later in the day.

"We have greater success in getting pilot whales back out to sea than sperm whales," Mr Kitchell said. "Pilot whales were smaller, although they could still weigh up to seven tonnes," he said.

Russian scientists warn of radiation pollution in northern oceans

12/25/98 MOSCOW (AP) Radioactive waste dumped by the Soviet Union in Arctic seas is leaking through its containers, causing radiation levels to reach up to 100 times normal in some areas, officials said Friday.

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said radiation levels in waters off the Novaya Zemlya archipelago exceed the norm dozens of times, and in the nearby Stepovoi Gulf by 100 times, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Radiation levels in the Barents Sea are also above normal, the ministry said.

Bering Sea Ecosystem Shows Dramatic Changes

SEATTLE, Washington, January 2, 1999 (ENS) Unusual ocean and atmospheric conditions in the Bering Sea during the summers of 1997 and 1998 gave rise to extensive die-offs of seabirds, rare algal blooms, and unanticipated low salmon runs. Scientists observed warmer than usual ocean temperatures, plus altered ocean currents and atmospheric conditions in the sea that separates Alaska from the Russian Far East.

Christmas Eve Keiko" update"

Stormy Weather Continues

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

The past week has been has been consumed by stormy weather, as the island has had three storms with winds over 100 mph. The Keiko staff is becoming accustomed to working in high winds, and ensuring that the bay pen remains in good condition despite the storms. A complete survey of the anchor system yesterday demonstrated that the maintenance performed on the anchors over the past ten days allowed the bay pen to ride out the storms with no problems.

Whales slip out of state, undetected by hunters

Scientists dont know how they did it, but thousands of gray whales apparently skirted the coast of the Pacific Northwest unnoticed, despite the media, federal authorities, and Makah Tribe whaling crews and tribal fishermen looking on.

That was not very funny to Makah tribal members, whose hope to hunt and kill a migrating whale has been frustrated since September as they waited for a whale migration that somehow was never spotted.


To all our members and colleagues who visit this web-site... thank you for your support throughout 1998! Have a good Christmas and New Year.

For all those that visit the web-site because of their interest in whale and dolphin stories, many thanks. We hope that you will continue to visit in 1999.

Best wishes from all at WDCS.

Gray whales slow to start winter migration

(ENN) -- The whales are late this year and scientists cant figure out why.

Some 24,000 gray whales migrate each winter from their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to calving lagoons off Mexicos Baja Peninsula. But as of Friday, not a whale had been sighted. And its already a week past the latest date recorded for the start of the annual southward migration.

Performing dolphins arrive in Bahrain

Three dolphins have now arrived at the "Dolphin Park" in Bahrain, despite protests from sections of the community there and WDCS. The dolphins have been imported by an infamous Russian dolphin trader, in this lucrative but disastrous industry.

Not including these animals, WDCS has tracked 43 dolphins that have been exported from Russia and the Ukraine. Of these, information indicates that 23 of them are now dead. In addition to this, 3 dolphins were recently exported to India, all of which have since died.


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