‘It takes a village to build a whale’: Dal’s Blue Whale Project set to soar this fall (Dalhousie University)

Dalhousie University: ‘It takes a village to build a whale’: Dal’s Blue Whale Project set to soar this fall. “Since 2017, Dalhousie’s Blue Whale Project has left a big impression on everyone who’s encountered it, from students and faculty to community members and volunteers. Now, just months away from the blue whale arriving at its final resting place in Dal’s Steele Ocean Sciences Building, there is a buzz of excitement around the university.”

The Guardian: Researchers use whale photo archive to help protect important WA calving site

The Guardian: Researchers use whale photo archive to help protect important WA calving site. “Researchers are combing through thousands of whale photos to help protect a calving site off Western Australia’s coast that was severely impacted by the whaling industry. The researchers believe that Geographe Bay off south-west WA is an important calving ground in need of environmental protection, and are using a 30-year archive of images to determine how many southern right whales have visited the area over time.”

Mystic Seaport Museum: Website Connects People With Their Whaling Ancestors

Mystic Seaport Museum: Website Connects People With Their Whaling Ancestors. “The foundational fabric of Whaling History features three databases that have been stitched together – the American Offshore Whaling Voyage (AOWV) database, the American Offshore Whaling Log database, and an extensive whaling crew list database…. The site has been expanded recently with the addition of 370 new whaling voyages to the AOWV database, most from the 18th century, and the integration of the Dennis Wood Abstracts of Whaling Voyages. The latter are brief handwritten summaries of whaling voyages compiled over more than forty years (1830–1874) by Dennis Wood, a merchant and whaling agent in New Bedford.”

Blue whales: An acoustic library helps us find what we can’t see (Christian Science Monitor)

Christian Science Monitor: Blue whales: An acoustic library helps us find what we can’t see. “Reverberating through the ice shelves and gyres of the Southern Ocean are the undersongs of the largest animal that has ever lived on this planet, the Antarctic blue whale. Telling tales of the hunt for krill, of navigation and seduction, these tunes can carry for hundreds of miles. And the world is listening: Moored around Antarctica is a loose ring of passive acoustic monitoring devices, or PAMs, deployed by various academic institutions. Released by oceanographic research vessels, the devices sink to the seafloor where they record a remote and often hostile realm that is practically out of reach of scientists.”

Oregon State University: Meet some of Oregon’s most recognizable gray whales via new OSU website

Oregon State University: Meet some of Oregon’s most recognizable gray whales via new OSU website. ” Scarlett is known for the large scar on her back. Equal bears the mark of a boat propeller injury. Roller Skate’s fluke was damaged due to entanglement with fishing gear. Solé has a favorite foraging ground she returns to each year. Each of these gray whales was nicknamed by researchers in the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute…. Now they want the public to get to know some of these whales, too.”

Maine Public Radio: In Fight Over Right Whales And Lobster Fishery, All Sides Want To Know More About Whale Activity Off Maine

Maine Public Radio: In Fight Over Right Whales And Lobster Fishery, All Sides Want To Know More About Whale Activity Off Maine. “Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration created a new website that maps almost two decades of work to detect whales off the east coast, via ‘passive acoustic’ recorders set on buoys, on submerged platforms, and on underwater gliders that can zig and zag around the Gulf of Maine for months at a time.”

The Guardian: Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information

The Guardian: Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information. “Using newly digitised logbooks detailing the hunting of sperm whales in the north Pacific, the authors discovered that within just a few years, the strike rate of the whalers’ harpoons fell by 58%. This simple fact leads to an astonishing conclusion: that information about what was happening to them was being collectively shared among the whales, who made vital changes to their behaviour. As their culture made fatal first contact with ours, they learned quickly from their mistakes.”

Beached Whale Blow-Up: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Exploding Whale (Oregon Historical Society)

Oregon Historical Society: Beached Whale Blow-Up: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Exploding Whale. “On the morning of November 12, 1970, KATU news directors asked reporter Paul Linnman and cameraman Doug Brazil to cover an unusual story taking place on the Oregon coast. A 45-foot sperm whale had washed up on the beach near Florence, Oregon, a few days prior, and the Oregon Highway Division was left to come up with a plan on how best to deal with 8 tons of rotting whale flesh. What caught the attention of the news room in Portland, however, was not the whale itself but the plan of how to best dispose of the carcass: dynamite.” The subsequent video is one of the early viral videos of Internet culture and is why I’m including it here.

Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time (University of Washington)

University of Washington: Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time. “Whale Safe combines several technologies: an underwater acoustic system that automatically detects whale calls; near real-time forecasts of whale feeding grounds; and whale sightings by scientists reported through a mobile app. These sources of information are combined into a daily ‘Whale Presence Rating’ on the Whale Safe website — an indicator that describes the likelihood of whales from ‘low’ to ‘very high.’”

Paradise regained then lost: Med mammals mourn lockdown end (AFP)

AFP: Paradise regained then lost: Med mammals mourn lockdown end. “When Europeans retreated into their homes to observe strict stay-at-home rules to contain the coronavirus, dolphins and whales on the Mediterranean coast basked and thrived in a hitherto unknown calm. But the return of tourists, noisy boats and heavy sea transport with the end of lockdowns in France and other Mediterranean littoral countries has signalled the return of danger and harm caused by human activity for underwater creatures.”

The Irish News: Citizen scientists track humpback whale travels with help of social media

The Irish News: Citizen scientists track humpback whale travels with help of social media . “Humpback whales are known to make vast migrations between their breeding and feeding grounds, and are increasingly being seen in UK seas. Now the first ever confirmed record of a UK-sighted whale hundreds of miles away in its summer feeding grounds in the high Arctic has been revealed, after its picture was spotted on Facebook by volunteer ‘citizen scientists’.”

Idaho State University: Idaho Museum of Natural History researchers receive grant to digitally scan bones of California blue whale

Idaho State University: Idaho Museum of Natural History researchers receive grant to digitally scan bones of California blue whale. “The Idaho Museum of Natural History and Idaho State University received a $20,000 award from the National Science Foundation in January to scan the entire skeleton of a blue whale that washed ashore in California. The skeleton is at the Noyo Center for Marine Science in Fort Bragg, California.”

King5: Young orca’s death inspires health database for surviving whales

King5: Young orca’s death inspires health database for surviving whales. “After an intervention to save a dying killer whale calf, one veterinarian is compiling electronic medical records for all of her family members. J50 was declared dead after a month of efforts by scientists to administer antibiotics and even try to feed her. The young whale looked severely emaciated, but no one was sure exactly why. In the aftermath, one of the team members is compiling a database for the whales that survive her.”