7.13.2009

Naval Exercises Linked To Whale Deaths

·Watching whales watching us.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/magazine/12whales-t.html?_r=1&em
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/07/07/magazine/whales.span.1.jpg
It is nearly impossible to pinpoint the precise cause of a whale’s stranding. Theories invariably include factors like the straying of a sick and dying whale leader, faithfully followed by the members of his pod, or sudden shallows along the shores of a migratory route. Two strandings in September 2002, separated by 5700 miles, however, did have something intriguing in common. It was noted, by the Canary Islands stranded whale rescuers, that naval vessels were carrying out exercises that day not far offshore, a situation that had accompanied four other mass whale strandings on Canary Islands beaches since 1985. And while no such military exercises were being conducted off the beaches of the Isla San José event, the vessel that the scientists radioed turned out to be a research ship dragging an array of powerful underwater air guns that were repeatedly set off the previous morning in the course of seismic tests of the region’s ocean floor.
The suspicion of a causal relationship between whale strandings and either seismic tests or the use of new high-tech sonar tracking devices in military-training exercises had been mounting for some time. Similar coincidences had been noted off the coasts of Brazil, the Bahamas, the Galápagos Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Japan, as well as in the waters off Italy and Greece. Necropsies performed on a number of the whales revealed lesions about their brains and ears. The results of the examinations performed on the Canary Islands whales, however, added a whole other, darker dimension to the whale-stranding mystery. In addition to bleeding around the whales’ brains and ears, scientists found lesions in their livers, lungs and kidneys, as well as nitrogen bubbles in their organs and tissue, all classic symptoms of a sickness that scientists had naturally assumed whales would be immune to: the bends.

[Whales are considered the most intelligent beings on this planet -humans come third, after dolphins. Some consider whales to be directly involved in the managing of the world's 'sea water', especially by the ancestral cultures of the planet. Recently, independent scientists pointed out that earth's 'sea water' is largely -if not solely- responsible for the configuration of the planet's magnetosphere. Consider the implications of this. We have no idea what we're messing with... But if someone does, then killing whales is -simply- suicidal!]
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