Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Why do you do it?


Vino said...

Hi Stacey,

I personally think the people who do it don't realise the curelty behind it.

Basically our species were scavengers and still we continue to feed on the flesh of other beings. And thats the way the ecosystem is.

But how can we imagine killing a living thing that is so cute and so human. I personally prefer not eating a living thing that has a heart felt connection with us. They want and can communicate with us.

I think it is a atrocious crime.

I am very glad we share common feelings.


Sophia said...

Hi Vino,

Actually, no one is purposefully harming these Pilot Whales. Believe it or not, the whales beached themselves yesterday on the coast of Tasmania. The people you see there are actually trying to rescue any of the whales that might still be alive. I think more than 60 whales performed this mass suicide.

Today I've read an article that states it's possible the Navy might have contributed to their stranding. The ships sometimes use radar and that has been known to disrupt their ability to navigate, and in some instances it can actually kill them.

Gretchen Coleman said...

Stacey, your question of why is very interesting. I have wondered the same thing myself. There have been other instances of mass beaching by one of the whale species. I hope it isn't the Navy!

Thom said...

At the risk of showing my age, I recall whales beaching themselves long before the navy was using their systems.

utenzi said...

I'm with Thom. The theory that sonar is causing the whales to ground themselves is very far fetched.

There's a lot of theories as to why they do this, but nothing so far has panned out. So far the only thing you can conclude is that they just do it for their own reasons. Often regrounding after being rescued. And maybe a little pissed off that their efforts are being thwarted by those buttinsky humans.

By the way, I visited your old friend "Car" a few minutes ago. Since you are thinking of killing your other site I wanted to go see if he's still around. He is--and as weird as ever.

Sophia said...

Hi everyone,

The article states that it wasn't entirely certain it was the Australian Navy ships, just that lately a lot of ships have been seen near the Tasmanian coast and some have speculated that it could be a cause.

There are, of course, other factors that sometimes sadly play in their beachings. One that I've read of is that a leader whale gets sick and the rest of the group just follows along.

RedBark said...

I once interviewed for a job at a place in San Diego that made transducers for oceanic exploration. They gave me a demonstration in a big tank in which a four foot diameter circle of water boiled violently when they turned on the transducer. I asked the guy "What do the fish think of that?"

They did not call me back.

After seeing that I realized that those things must be increadibly obnoxious and harmful to ever animal within a mile of the ship.

RedBark said...

I know I would jump out of the water if one of those things was around.

Change said...

Hi Stacey,

A sad story. The first day 60 (two flocks) Pilot whales were stranded, 11 were rescued (dug and floated out). The next day another 70 whales were stranded, of which 8 were rescued. None of the 11 rescued the first day were amongst the 70 stranded the next day (they had been marked).

Thom, I don't think you are that old. Rudimentary (compared to today's technology) sonar/ asdic systems were in use prior to the Second World war, and were highly improved upon, and used, during the war.

There is a growing concensus amongst experts that modern type, extremely powerful, sonar systems used by various navies may be the cause this erratic behaviour. Sonar is based on the emittance an reception of sound, to a certain extent comparable with the method that whales use to navigate, and communicate. There is a fact that modern sonar systems can kill whales on a shorter distance.

Utenzi, you may be right, they may do it for their own reasons, but it is hard to figure out why.

Besides sonars etc., the theory on mass suicide poses a lot of questions, not least philosophical, -what misery or spiritual collective concensus out there in the deep blue ocean would cause them to behave like this?

The idea that they were stranded because they followed the leader is not very credible. Whales are not dumb, and know quite well that beaches and dry land are not for them.

But, it is all very sad.

Sophia said...


It's probably best that they did not call you back. I can't see you being happy at a place that works with such harmful things!

Sophia said...

Hi Change,

I'm glad to hear that at least 19 of them were rescued. It seems such a small number compared ot the total 130 that beached themselves. But I wonder... since 11 of them were rescued and did not return to the beach, wouldn't that show us that they did not indeed mean to beach themselves? I think this is proof that it was at least not intentional on their parts, or they would have continued trying to commit suicide.

Thank you so much for visiting and posting this helpful comment. It seems you know a lot about our friends of the sea.

I agree that it is truly sad, whatever the force is that causes them to do this.

jbmoore said...

Military sonars are quite powerful and whales have been seen to flee from naval ships actively pinging. Since they use echolocation as a form of vision, they could become blinded and beach as a consequence of being blind and in panic. It's not intentional, but then almost all evil isn't intentional. Do not make a problem out of it though. Calling it an atrocious crime just makes one feel superior to those people on the ship. They didn't intentionally kill those whales and if they'd known, they wouldn't have done what they did. The whales hold no grudges and they give up their lives willingly, unlike most humans.