Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Where have all the dolphins gone this summer?

21.08.2007
Researchers from the wildlife conservation charity Marinelife are extremely concerned about what it is NOT seeing this summer in the Bay of Biscay.

Marinelife’s unique long-term monitoring project, the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP) has been conducting scientific monthly whale, dolphin and seabird surveys through the English Channel and Bay of Biscay for the last 13 years, using the P&O Cruise Ferry, The Pride of Bilbao, as a research platform. In addition, a BDRP full-time Wildlife Officer collects daily data on dolphin abundance. The BDRP surveys have detected more than 20 species of whale and dolphin in the Bay of Biscay and counted over a hundred thousand animals.

Through the recent work of BDRP and other research groups, the Bay of Biscay has become known as a worldwide hotspot for whales, dolphins and seabirds with many passengers each year experiencing wonderful encounters with the marine wildlife, especially groups of dolphins that may number several thousand. However, this summer there has been a very obvious and worrying dearth of sightings, which is significant given that the Bay of Biscay is of European importance for dolphins and other cetaceans.

Early indications have shown that during June and July, the total number counted of the 3 main dolphin species, Common Dolphin, Striped Dolphin and Bottlenose Dolphin, are down by around 80% on the same time last year. Seabirds, such as auks, shearwaters, and gannets have also been in short supply and the situation has been ongoing since the early spring, with no signs of an improvement thus far during August. Marinelife are worried that this very apparent decline in sightings of both dolphins and seabirds along the ferry route, could be more wide-ranging and could indicate a big reduction in fish stocks due to over fishing or a change in distribution of fish stocks due to temperature changes (in turn linked to climate change). This year has already been marked by a failure of the anchovy fishery, with bans being put in place for the Spanish and French fleets, but what else could be happening?

Marinelife’s Research Director, Dr Tom Brereton said:
“Whatever the cause of the disappearance of dolphins this summer, it shows both how vulnerable they are and how alarmingly quickly local declines can occur when environmental conditions change. The changes highlight how we need to act quickly, to address major issues such as climate change and over-fishing.”

Marinelife are also well aware of the other pressures facing dolphins, especially those in Biscay and the Western Approaches to the English Channel and that too is related to commercial fishing – namely bycatch of dolphins in fishing nets. This activity is known to claim thousands of dolphins each year, many washing up dead on the beaches of the south west coastline and this situation has still not been adequately addressed by the fishing industry.

Marinelife continues to work in partnership with a number of other research groups, spearheading an international initiative, the Atlantic Research Coalition (ARC) that aims to describe changes in the status of whales and dolphins at European scale.

Adrian Shephard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.marine-life.org.uk/pressrelease/170807.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>