150 stranded short-finned pilot whales were found by a commercial fisherman early Friday morning on the Hamelin Bay in Western Australia. By Friday afternoon, there were only about 15 of them still alive.
Scientists have no clear answer as to why Whales beach themselves. Currently, a rescue team is caring for the whales, hoping to coax them back into the sea.
“I think it’s absolutely incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it, seen so many of these animals beached like this,” said Barrie Brickle, a tourist visiting the area.
The Fisheries Department is issuing a Shark Alert warning of possible increased Shark presence with the overwhelming amount of whale carcasses.
“Unfortunately, most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and had not survived,” rescue team leader Jeremy Chick said. “Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating weather conditions, and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved before we move the whales.”
Whales Beach Themselves
The Parks and Wildlife Service is taking DNA Samples as they remove the carcasses. Also, it is there hope to get a better understanding of why these animals are beaching themselves.
This is not the first incident of these animals beaching themselves at Hamelin Bay. Over 80 whales died on this beach back in 2009. Another 320 Long-finned pilot whales washed up in 1996 in Dunsborough,
Historical records indicate that these animals have been beaching themselves as far back as 300 b.c. Unfortunately, marine biologist and scientist only have theories as to why whales beach themselves. They are, however, noticing an increased number of these animals beaching themselves, and there is cause for concern.
Below is a list of ideas and speculations from Scientist, marine biologist, activist and whale lovers:
Man-Made materials and chemicals cause greater water pollution in the ocean. Marine mammals are being born with deformities and mental impairments and the poison is causing death.
Be that as it may, man-made sonar may be interfering with the whale’s natural brain waves making them disoriented or sick. They flee to shallow waters in an attempt to avoid the sound. Unfortunately, they end up beaching themselves.
However, whales are seeking shelter from Shark attacks or other large mammals.
These animals are very social and travel in large groups. Even so, it’s possible that the group not knowingly follows a sick whale that ends up in the shallow water of a beach.
There is no proof of these theories because it is difficult to monitor these specific mammals patterns. Marine biologist and scientist will continue to work on finding a solution to this problem.