Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giant sharks and whales spotted in Cornwall survey

06.08.2007
Large sharks and whales are being regularly encountered along the Cornish coast. That is the early conclusion of a new marine wildlife survey, co-ordinated by a scientist based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

SeaWatch SW, which started in mid-July, is designed to monitor endangered marine animals. It is already highlighting the spectacular array of sharks, whales, dolphins and seabirds living around our coast, with large numbers of harmless giant basking sharks - as well as minke whales, common dolphins, harbour porpoises, ocean sunfish, and even a predatory blue shark - being recorded from the shore.

The project involves dawn-to-dusk monitoring of the sea off Gwennap Head near Land's End in Cornwall, which is the south-western tip of the UK mainland. Another major aim of SeaWatch SW is to record the numbers of Europe's most endangered seabird, the Balearic Shearwater, passing Gwennap Head.

SeaWatch SW co-ordinator, Dr Russell Wynn of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, said: "The first 200 hours of the survey have produced some exciting sightings, with a peak of at least 25 basking sharks visible at one time. We were even lucky enough to see a predatory shark, probably a blue shark, jump clean out of the water in pursuit of mackerel, just 50 metres from the shore."

... more about:
»basking »sighting »whales

Despite recent press coverage of a possible great white shark sighting at nearby St Ives, Dr Wynn adds a note of caution: "Most people don't realise that our waters are home to a variety of shark species, some of which are hard to identify unless seen very well. Many of these species occasionally breach (jump out of the water) and, in addition to the blue shark, we have already observed multiple examples of 8m long basking sharks breaching."

Sharks, whales and dolphins are under threat in UK waters, mostly due to impacts of fishing and increasing numbers of inquisitive tourists. Dr Wynn adds: "Sharks in UK waters have a lot more to fear from us than we do from them. We are monitoring the effects of human activities on the endangered and protected basking shark, which is a harmless plankton feeder".

From the watchpoint Dr Wynn and his team have already seen sharks being harassed by boat users. Deliberate disturbance of basking sharks is illegal under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The 2007 SeaWatch SW survey continues until mid-October, and daily sightings and photos taken from the watchpoint can be found on the project website at: http://www.seawatch-sw.org.

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.seawatch-sw.org

Further reports about: basking sighting whales

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>