a small victory for the whales

The US Department of the Interior, after campaigning by Oceana and its allies,  postponed their decision on whether to allow seismic airguns off the Atlantic coast, in an area where marine reserves, fishing grounds, and critical habitats for endangered species occurr. The encompasses more than 300,000 square miles of ocean from Delaware to Florida — an area twice the size of California!

Read more here, here, here and here.

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3 thoughts on “a small victory for the whales

  1. Dr. Thomas E. Ferrari MS, PhD says:

    The sudden loss and disappearance of honey bees from a hive or apiary, and the beaching of whales and dolphins around the world, have been mystifying scientists for centuries. Although many theories have been proposed to explain these events, relatively few are supported by substantial evidence. Recent advances in the field of animal magnetoreception has opened the possibility that organisms have an internal “compass” and they use that sense for orientation when traveling or foraging long distances. Eruptions on the Sun create solar storms which in turn cause disturbances in Earth’s magnetosphere. When unable to follow an accurate magnetic bearing during geomagnetic storms, honey bees and cetaceans would lose their orientation and, eventually, become lost or beach themselves. Five independent surveys of beachings in the Mediterranean Sea, the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and around the world were documented and then correlated with days when geomagnetic storms occurred in Earth’s atmosphere. A high statistical correlation (R2=0.929) involving days when strandings occurred with days when major geomagnetic disturbances in Earth’s magnetosphere occurred is consistent with this theory. Furthermore, annual beachings correlated with frequency of sunspot occurrences.
    To investigate involvement of a magnetoreception disorder (MRD) with honey bees’ homing abilities, (A) magnets were glued to their abdomens, (B) foragers were exposed to artificially induced fluctuating magnetic fields; and (C) foragers’ return rates were monitored during naturally occurring disturbances to Earth’s magnetosphere. Treated and untreated foragers were released at varying distances from their hives and their return rates were determined. Significant differences in their return rates indicated interactions existed between forager losses and exposure to both static and oscillating magnetic fields. In addition, when foragers returned during major disturbances in Earth’s magnetosphere, their homing ability declined. Collectively, these observations indicate coronal eruptions on the Sun are involved with interference of an animal’s magnetoreception sense here on Earth.

    • Thank you Thomas for your contribution, as always interesting. Magnetoreception is an interesting field of research and i find it particularly intriguing. I started getting interested to the subject while leaving in Venice, full of pigeons, and reading some papers on the orientation ability of these birds. The early pioneering studies ob birds by Wiltschko & Wiltschko in 1972 and the earlier ones by Chin-Yuan Hsu and Chia-Wel Li are unique and extremely interesting. And now, the recent findings exploring the neurobiology of Magnetoreception in many species are quite promising as well. Hopefully this subject and field of research will put light on the stranding events.

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