Researchers on board a research vessel sailing the waters near the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, and Antarctic Peninsula have identified a unique whale song that could well come from a new species of whale. The team investigating the sound included researchers from WDC's Latin America office in Argentina.
Cuvier's beaked whale
A five-fold increase in the number of stranded Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the shores around the west coast of Scotland over December has caused concern in the region. An unusually large number of beaked whales have been found dead on local beaches over the past couple of weeks but are too decomposed for cause of death to be revealed.
Cuvier's beaked whales are the deepest diving of all whales and dolphins and usually hunt for food many miles off shore. Theories for these strandings range from disease to noise pollution in the area (use of high frequency sonar).
Local details and some content here are provided from our colleague Alexandros Franzis, Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute, Greece.
The latest international meeting dealing with protection of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and Black Seas (ACCOBAMS) has concluded with mixed results for the Cuvier’s beaked whale, which is thought to be most vulnerable to loud, man-made underwater noise pollution caused by military sonar and surveys for oil and gas deposits under the seabed.