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Old 07-08-2014, 02:16 AM   #1
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Whale Disentanglement in Oz

It`s whale migration time north on the east coast of Australia. I just heard radio reports of a distressed 10 meter(around 35ft) long humpback entangled in fishing net and floats, off Byron Bay Beach on the NSW far north coast. A specialist team was called in to free it. The animal, tired from its own attempts to free itself, was more docile than expected, they were able to cut away the netting.
Sadly this happens too often. The skill and bravery of the rescuers is to be applauded, the danger of a whack from a tail does not bear thinking about. They go in close, with special long handled cutters, to work their magic. Do the whales know they are being helped? I think they do.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:47 AM   #2
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Yes, I've just watched the footage on the news Bruce, and I think they do understand, the way it restrained its tail movements while they worked on it was impressive.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
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Now there are reports of a second instance yesterday, on the SE coast of New South Wales, and of another today, on the far north NSW coast/south east Queensland coast, near the border.
Twice a year the E coast of Australia is a whale highway, going north now often to calve followed by further "prep" for future calving, returning south later, females with calf. I wish boats were more careful with abandoned nets.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #4
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The most recent event turned out to be a stranding, for 36 hours. Rescuers erected a tent over the 8M whale,dousing it with water. After several attempts to direct it seaward, was towed into deeper water by what looked like an indomitable Steber 40, (popular with rescue and police services) using a bridle and single towline. Whales don`t have a towing eye, wonder how it was harnessed. It seems a GPS issue caused the stranding, hope the whale`s GPS was successfully rebooted.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:45 PM   #5
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I wonder if it's the same grouping of Humpback whales that visit California annually? Have been told these whales migrate the coast north to Alaska and no idea how far south.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:02 AM   #6
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Craig, I think you have your own travelers. Our delicate lot leave Antarctica in winter for warmer climes, go up the east coast, and return the same way months later. I believe there are others which do the same on the Aust. west coast(Hendo territory). Numbers are increasing, whale watching is now a tourist industry, whale spotters record the passing parade, especially the ones they see every year.
It is remarkable on the east coast, because whales, especially the southern right whale (so named as it was the "right" whale to kill)used to encounter whalers at Twofold Bay, Eden on the NSW south coast, who were aided by (so called) "killer whales" which would shepherd passing whales to the whalers, in exchange for food rewards.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:33 AM   #7
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Makes perfect sense Bruce, years ago we had one particular whale that got "lost" on the trip. Seems he took a turn inside the Golden Gate Bridge and believe at least once or twice swam up into the freshwater Delta.

IIRC he got the named "Humphrey the wayward whale". Caused quite a stir with marine biologists trying to get him turned around and heading back out to sea. My armchair theory was Humphrey figured out there was warm water about a thousand miles closer so shoulda been named the "lazy whale".
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:20 PM   #8
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Here's a summary of our wayward whales, Humphrey, Delta and Dawn. The restaurant, Humphrey's, at Antioch Marina (now closed) was named after Humphrey.

Humphrey the Whale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Delta and Dawn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:23 AM   #9
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It appears to be a north and south thing - ours go to Antartica in the summer and come up to north Autralian waters to calve in our winter, yours do likewise from the Arctic/Alasks region down your coasts to warmer middle American waters to calve, in the northern winter then return north during your summer.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:09 PM   #10
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Since this seems to be a pod of mods, thought I should at least chime in, although not much whale activity here in Northern Florida. We do have a Great White in the Gulf of Mexico, though, which the specialists are watching with avid interest (got a transmitter on her) and which the public relations people are scared to death the tourists on the beaches will somehow find out about. :-)
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
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"pod of mods" LOL!

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Old 07-13-2014, 12:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
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..although not much whale activity here in Northern Florida. We do have a Great White in the Gulf of Mexico, though, which the specialists are watching with avid interest (got a transmitter on her) and which the public relations people are scared to death the tourists on the beaches will somehow find out about. :-)
Is the "Great White" a shark, or a whale? We have a rare white whale which annually transits the coast, easily spotted. In Western Australia the Govt. declared war, amid much controversy, on sharks following a number of deaths due to likely great white attacks. It is doubtful killing GWs does any good, some politicians feel better, families of victims often oppose the kill.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:37 AM   #13
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The sea is their home. People are the ones who are "a fish out of water" when we're in their home.

But, for the millions of people who visit the shores and frolic in the surf, the bigger worry and threat to health is sunburn and it's long term effects, not a shark nibble.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:48 AM   #14
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Is the "Great White" a shark, or a whale? .
Shark. Her name is Katherine. Tagged at some point on the East Coast, and the scientists have been following her ever since. Anyone who wants to look at the track can go to the website OCEARCH.ORG ¬ĽProfile Katharine and see where she is. Right now, off of Sarasota, Florida.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:48 AM   #15
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How can you call a Great White shark Katherine?
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:36 AM   #16
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How can you call a Great White shark Katherine?
I suggest, very politely.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:19 AM   #17
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Like good tourists anywhere when we started our trip down the Canadian St. Lawrence river we were looking forward to seeing whales. Never expected that they would be a nuisance. Canada (rightly) requires boats to go into neutral when they come close to a whale (forget whether 100 or 300 meters) on the St. Lawrence. Exception for the safety of the vessel. On certain sections of the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Rivers the whales were so numerous that we were delayed too often and for too long. My decision was that not making our destination in daylight constituted a risk to the safety of the vessel. We were very careful and slow when necessary, but for some reason the whales seem attracted to our boat.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:48 AM   #18
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We were very careful and slow when necessary, but for some reason the whales seem attracted to our boat.
Think they'd be less attracted to a Bayliner ?
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:46 PM   #19
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How can you call a Great White shark Katherine?
Hard to say. I've always just kind of figured that the researcher who gave her the name "Katherine" was probably a woman, and had a mother-in-law named Katherine.
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