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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...

Photographers fined for flying drones close to orcas

US authorities have fined two people for allegedly flying drones too close to a pod of orcas in Washington state. 

In what could well be the first case of its kind, the pair have been prosecuted after capturing footage of the ocras in the Haro Strait, just east of Vancouver Island, Canada.

Drone

The U.S. Department of Fisheries and Oceans say the pair’s drones were within nine metres of the whales when the regulation requires all vessels should be at least approximately 183 metres back. One of the operators has been ordered to pay $1000.

Canadian authorities have also backed the fine, believing the drones posed a danger to orcas, emitting disturbing levels of noise, and potential injury if a drone should fall from the sky onto the pod.

The popularity of using drones to get close-up footage of whales and dolphins has increased in recent years, but it is not clear yet what effect they have on these creatures.

More on how noise pollution affects whales and dolphins