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Whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings

3 Posts tagged with the fin_whale tag
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This year the Museum celebrates 100 years of collecting data about the porpoises, dolphins and whales that strand on our shores.

 

Although the Museum was collecting specimens of cetaceans for many years there was a lack of information about animals around the shores of the British Isles. So in 1911, to increase the numbers available for collection from around the UK coast, the Keeper of Zoology, Mr Sidney Harmer, suggested to the Museum's trustees and the Board of Trade (the goverment department whose responsiblity included wrecks and other things washed ashore)  that the Museum should be notified about any cetacean that came ashore.

 

After some debate, in June of 1912, the Board of Trade agreed to issue instructions to the Receiver of Wrecks to send 'telegraphic information' to the Museum regarding any cetacean that was reported to them. This was followed by a leaflet being sent in January 1913 to coastguard stations. The leaflet was a basic identification guide to improve the information being returned to the Museum.

 

In the first annual report published in 1914 there is a section bemoaning the fact that some reports were probably sharks and that the measurements taken 'were not completely uniform' - one early Fin Whale was reported to have measured 80 ft (about 25m) which would have made it a very large individual indeed.

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13m Fin whale washed up in Raughley, north Co Sligo yesterday. It's been a busy week for Ireland cetacean wise, with the first confirmed sighting of a dolphin in a lake. A common dolphin was spotted in a saltwater lake in Co Cork. It was seen for 2 days but has since moved on, assumed to have gone back to sea.

 

Whale story


The carcass of a whale yesterday lay strewn on a beach after it had been battered against nearby rocks.


It was swept on to the rocks on Monday night in gale-force winds.


whale_989226t.jpg

 

Dolphin in Lake

 

THE IRISH Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed the first sighting of a dolphin in an Irish lake, in Lough Hyne near Baltimore, Co Cork. This is the first time a cetacean has been found in such an environment.

 

The group’s sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley said: “The IWDG frequently documents cetaceans in bays, occasionally in estuaries, rarely in rivers, but to the best of my knowledge, and I’m open to correction, this is the first validated record of a cetacean using an Irish lake.”

 

Whale story: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/carcass-of-13m-whale-beached-by-gales-2949431.html

 

Lake story: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1130/1224308334281.html

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We are getting rumbling rumours of a second sei whale stranding (no jokes about buses please), this time in Scotland. There was definitally a stranding yesterday but the species ID is a little uncertain.

 

Details are all a bit vague, but I believe it was a live stranding that unfortunately died. I'm sure our Scottish team will be involved in the postmortem, the last one was quite badly decomposed so getting details wasn't very easy, sounds like this one should be better.

 

Its a big shock if its is a sei, to get 2 in a year is unheard of but 2 in a week....

 

Edit - chanced seemed a bit slim, the animal has been confirmed as a fin whale. It can often be the case that if you get a rare stranding every other stranding for a week or so after is reported as that species, I guess its in peoples minds.