Saturday, 7 September 2013



"Anthropogenic noise activities off West African Coast, includes seismic surveys 
and naval exercises (rockets, hazardous operations, etc). Ghana reports increase in dead whales washing ashore coinciding with extensive oil exploration activities in this area."

"Stranded whales are not soulless blobs of fat, they are individuals and they often have
 families and friends waiting desperately for them near by only to never see them again 
because lousy rescues refuse to help and kill them. The photo is from 2010 right whale 
stranding in Brazil, note a whale breaching at the distance."

"Over 10 seismic surveys in the area caused strandings 
and near-strandings of whales in the UK, but instead of helping rescues 
Epic fail at all levels."






On King Island, Tasmania in November 2012 a several day, multi-species stranding event occurred simultaneously with the testing of a new torpedo in the same basic area. The strandings began within approximately 24 hours of the weapons tests.


"The source level of this sonar is 240 decibels (equivalent to the intensity of a Saturn rocket). But, because low frequency underwater sound can travel hundreds of miles with little loss of power, it will actually create a 'kill zone' several hundred miles in diameter. NATO naval exercises using low frequency sonar conducted off Greece in 1996 killed whales that were more than 100 km away. In the final EIS for its sonar system, the Navy admits that an intensity of 160 decibels (a lethal level) will be felt several hundred miles away from the source. This will create a 'Kill Zone' the size of Texas.
The Navy says it wants to deploy this sonar in 80% of the world's oceans."



"Apparently we are on NOAA's 'watch list as a potential threat 
to the safety and well being of the people who actually work with these animals.' "


"We cited a study about dead carcasses, where controlled release offshore ofdead carcasses only yield to 8% of carcasses actually washing ashore. So what we see on our shores is a tiny fragment of what is going on. That is why we believe so strongly that every live stranded cetacean is a miracle that went through hell to stay alive and because of that should be given any help imaginable to survive."

NOTE FROM JEFF: It is my honour and privilege to share with you a comprehensive presentation of the work of StrandedNoMore, a coalition of marine biologists working since 2010 to educate the public about the reality of what is happening to whales and dolphins globally, a true 'cetacean holocaust.' Here is not only my first interview with SNM, but also a selection of their major contributions, the most significant of which is an constantly-expanding data-base of correlations between cetacean stranding events and the presence of seismic testing for hydro-carbons and/or naval/military war-games, weapons testing and 'hazardous operations.'

SNM has also created awareness on many related issues, for example, how the U.S. Navy directly or indirectly controls a huge % of all marine biology research; of how the Navy and 'big oil' not only sponsor conferences on 'ocean noise pollution' which NO MENTION is made of seismic testing or naval sonar...but also employ vast armies of public relations organizations to 'spin' a full spectrum of disinformation designed to mislead a whale-loving yet scientifically illiterate public and deflect attention from their destructive activities. SNM and I have also discussed the reason why necropsies are NEVER performed on stranded cetaceans who are dead...again the hand of 'big oil' and the Navy at work through their financial control of almost all 'charitable rescue groups.' A valid necropsy would provide irrefutable evidence of what actually killed the cetacean in question, and chances are that almost without exception, dead cetaceans would, if analyzed, show signs of having been killed by high-level acoustic trauma. NOT what 'big oil' and the Navy want the public to hear. Parallel with the 'no necropsy' policy is a very real policy of 'automatic euthanasia' being practiced in many countries, including the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia, where live stranded cetaceans are shot in the head or even have holes drilled in their heads while they are conscious and then exploding them with a stick of dynamite. I honestly don't think that the Nazi exterminators did anything worse than this.

StrandedNoMore does not hesitate to expose the blatantly ineffective (at best) and brutally murderous (more realistic) approach of almost of all 'rescue groups' and 'charitable foundations' who receive lots of money (from whom?) to 'save whales.' For their efforts, they are occasionally attacked by these ignorami and threatened with bogus law-suits for telling the truth. They also confront high-dollar 'eco-tourism' operations who not only exploit the public and the whales but also routinely violate 'proximity' and 'harassment' regulations.

Welcome to reality. This is not the airy-fairy new-age capitalist world of 'let's charge people a lot of money to swim with dolphins and share their telepathic transmissions with them...'

Ultimately, it is US...homo sapiens, 'man, the wise'...not just 'big oil' or 'the navy', even less, 'evil Japanese fishermen or whalers'...who is quite literally waging a full-spectrum war against our planet's most spiritually advanced beings who are not only a 'true extra-terrestrial intelligence' but also 'the ultimate indigenous people.'

StrandedNoMore's new web-site will be up soon, for now you can connect with them on Facebook.


1) What is your back-ground as a scientist and lover of marine life?

The majority of members of our group have scientific training, MS, PhD.

2) How did you come to be aware of the problem of cetacean strandings?

We have been aware of it for years, but only since we started SNM we truly realized how big of the issue it is. Strandings are a strange topic since somehow the public was led to believe that it is a “natural” occurrence, hence not much attention is usually paid. Although the media loves to report on it, so there is some public interest there (but more likely because it is seen as a side road show than a true tragedy)

3) Describe the general mentality of mind-set of the marine biology community...

It is hard to comment on the entire marine biology community, but when it comes to marine mammals everybody is just so PC and try to be as uncontroversial as possible. There are 'well-oiled' topics that guarantee to bring followers and money; these topics include Taiji, captivity, etc. While they are noble, no doubt about that, they do not require significant personal sacrifice, such as for example stop driving and consuming oil or stand on the beach in Florida and protest missile test of Florida coast, or to form a life chain in your own country and shield a stranded whale from the blood thirsty vets with euthanasia drugs or rifles. We often wondered how people from the US, UK, NZ, etc would travel to Japan to protest, but totally ignore what happens with cetaceans on their own shores. 

Another issue is that everyone is scrambles for money now. Sadly many are willing to do a lot for it. For example, we were amazed to see some organizations sprouting in Africa devoted solely to marine mammals. One would wonder where do they get money to do so in Africa where every conservation org is struggling? Well, a little digging revealed that there is a Big Oil connection there where many people in these orgs have been working as Marine Mammal Observers on seismic surveys ships (that btw pays VERY well) and also do 'consultancy' for the Big Oil. The public of course sees nothing of it.

The conflict of interest is profound and widespread. Organizations blast the Navy and Big Oil publicly, while working with them privately. Hence it is the reason why everyone is so PC and focuses on Taiji , captivity, etc, while the truth is that strandings kill the same number if not more whales and dolphins annually when you count in those who die at sea or wash ashore already dead. Stranded whales and dolphins have zero marketing and as a result zero interest

4) How many researchers actually care about the well-being of marine life as opposed to keeping their funding happening?

This was covered above, but there is a small minority that truly cares but also those who are in it for money, ego gratification, publicity, self promotion etc.

5) Describe the influence of 'outside sources' with vested interests in marine biology research, for example, the US Navy and 'big oil.'

This was also covered above, but in a nutshell the Navy and the Big Oil are the only reliable sources of income for many organizations and researchers. It is either done directly by getting grants, or indirectly by either working on contract with the Navy/Big Oil doing 'consultancy' or working for them (like these people who work for 6 months as Marine Mammal Observers for the Big Oil) and 'study' dolphins for another 6 months using the money they made off cooperating with the Big Oil. The sad thing that it is nearly impossible to figure out without significant investigation as it is hidden for obvious reasons.

6) Describe the US Navy as an institution, as you understand big and powerful is it, how much money do they have, how many tentacles does it control? From my understanding, the US Navy is the single largest military organization on the planet. It is the single biggest nuclear entity, operating hundreds of reactors; it is the single biggest sonar presence in the global ocean;   ONR funds the leading-edge of advanced weapons systems development;   and it is believed to control or exert substantial influence on as much as 95% of all marine biology research in the world. Comment...

We have been talking about it a lot, it is actually 50% worldwide and 75% in the US. The best article to read about this is
Conflict of interest in research on anthropogenic noise and marine mammals: Does funding bias conclusions?

7) I see the Navy influence on 'research' as two-fold. First, they want to know about and control EVERY POSSIBLE ASPECT of anything having to do with the ocean and everyone and everything in it...this is where their REAL research is directed...towards the weaponization of all things marine.   Second, they fund a vast amount of 'public relations propaganda' generating fake science designed to make it look like nothing they do is harmful in any the deaf pseudorca you wrote about, and to give the public the impression that they are the 'stewards of the ocean.' Comment...

If you want to know how the Navy operates check the 'nonprofit' organization called “NATIONAL MARINE MAMMAL FOUNDATION It is pretty much self explanatory.

8) Describe what we actually know about cetacean strandings, and what we don't know. Strandings have been happening since the days of the ancient Greeks. As with any aspect of 'reality', it's very complex. What would be some of the credible reasons or causes of strandings?

To put is simply strandings could be caused by several reasons, often working together and we cannot accurately tell these reasons apart on the beach. Live strandings should be distinguished from dead strandings as they have different underlying causes.

1. Small number of animals is really ill prior to the stranding, they could have big gashes from a shark attack, or parasites in brain making them swim in circles. We believe it is a very small proportion of live strandings.

2. In some cases we believe stranding is a panic response to stimuli (both mass and single live strandings). Healthy animals panic, flee and strand. Also refuse to swim away and restrand if the perceived danger is still present. This could explain ancient strandings. 2000 years ago beaked whales or common dolphins could flee orca pod, today they flee Big Oil ship or missiles tests, or submarines with sonar. The fact that cetaceans have been hunted with sound reinforces this hypothesis. They die from stress, cardiomyopathy and they drown. The thing is that they could and should be saved.

3. Some species are very fragile; when stressed and forced to flee they develop cardiac condition called cardiomyopathy. It is sadly irreversible once it was set in motion, It is seen in Zoo animals like small deer, it progresses in exact same way like in cetaceans when these animals are captured for transport or example. Fragile cetacean species are kogias, spinners, beaked whales, common dolphin, striped and others, plus any neurotic animals that could not handle stress should be handled differently and should be given medication to prevent cardiomyopathy. 

4. Juvenile baleen whales often strand alive because they are silly pups and have not learned the ropes yet, do not understand sand bars, etc.

5. We reject the notion that quakes cause strandings

6. At the same time there could be some yet to be known factor that cause live strandings too.

9) What are some of the more obviousy INcredible 'causes' or 'reasons'?   'Mystery illnesses', for example, or 'baro-trauma' from undersea earth-quakes

See above

10) Tell us about this person called Oriana of Ocean Defender and Capt. David Williams of DeafWhale, as examples of environmental capitalists-cum-kooks?

These are perfect examples of pseudo-causes that captivate the public because they tell them what they want to hear. Organizations like Ocean Defender figured that by giving the public what it wants they can make a decent living. They post nothing but self-promoting shots and pretty pictures and intentionally steer away from what Oriana calls 'negativity'. Funny fact, both SNM and Ocean Defender started in 2010. SNM had 1070 followers on FB, and Oriana got 150,000+ as o this month. This is significant, because we (while being controversial and argumentative) never phished for donations or self-promotion, never sold anything, we only cared about stranded whales and dolphins. This showed us that the public does not care about the reality and does not want to hear about the reality. It also tells that the average public member goes for 'shiny things' without real critical thinking. Not that long ago a person asked Oriana how much money they make and how and on what causes they are being spent, what results they had. This post was ignored.

DeafWhale, INC is an example of pseudo-scientific organization that tosses around big words while having no idea what scientific method and research is.

Another type of organization we have noticed is the one that uses the plea of whales and dolphins for personal reasons. While they state that everyone is a volunteer, the donations are asked for endlessly without real results to show for. These  types of organizations basically blackmail the public by saying 'see, this dolphin died because we did not have this and that' They also figured that stranded cetaceans could be a very good asset in terms of self-promotion, publicity and all these good things.

11) I have considered that a syndrome may exist in cetaceans akin to Alzheimers in which they are still healthy enough to swim around but they are psychologically compromised by a wide spectrum of negative health influences, including chemical toxicity affecting their cognition, hearing disruption, not being able to communicate or have any peace and quiet, being 'watched' or 'studied' or harassed by 'scientists' or tour operators. Comment...

Perhaps, although we have not heard of any findings that had seen brains like that. These animals would probably die at sea without live stranding. It is important to note that many live stranded animals are young and we rarely (if ever) get old and senile whales to live strand.

Toxicity would not cause the live stranding although it has been often used as one of the reason. We do not believe it. One important thing to consider is that sperm whales for example naturally have very high mercury levels in them for some reason, so the mercury toxicity found in sperm whales should be taken with a grain of salt.

12) Describe the general mentality or attitude of the public as you have come to understand it concerning who the cetaceans are and what the real threats to them actually are

In all fairness there is a small segment of the population that truly cares for all right reasons, you know who you are and we thank you for all your support and effort over these years. The majority of people do not care at all. The rest….well there is a segment that 'loves' dolphins and cannot handle gory reality. There is a segment that laser-focused on captivity, Taiji, etc completely disregarding all other threats. Now, Taiji is a blood bath, and captivity is bad. But we find it extremely hypocritical to be so vocal about Taiji while having no problems with massacres in your own backyard. For example, one person from NZ traveled to Taiji to protest. Meanwhile dozens of pilot whales and other cetaceans have been killed in NZ that year by NZ DOC and rescues. What kind of mentality is that? How are NZ pilots different? Does the stranding make them less of cetaceans? People are hell bent to stop Taiji yet ignore entirely what happens in their own countries.

Furthermore, it appears that Taiji, captivity, Sea Shepherd, etc became 'holy grail' topics and no one dares to voice any 'different' opinion about it. Meanwhile the Gulf of Mexico is being devoid of marine life by the Big Oil and there are like 3 comments on the website seeking public input about opening even more areas for oil exploration.

We believe that similar if not larger number of animals dies because of strandings and anthropogenic causes. Only a small percentage actually strands. Basically unlike Taiji, this massacre is invisible. It does not get any promotion either. So no one cares.

13) Do you think organizations like NRDC, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, or Ocean Preservation Society (Louis Psihoyos) are making any difference that matters with respect to 'saving' cetaceans opposed to taking in vast sums of money?

People need to realize that the bigger the organization is the more it has to lose, so they play safe. We are impressed with NRDC because they do make a difference by constantly suing the Navy. It is good. The rest…well it would  be awesome if these organizations as well as WDC and American Cetacean Society started to at least count fatalities from anthropogenic causes and voice their opposition to Navy and Big Oil. For now it is mainly Taiji, Faroes, captivity etc., the usual stuff that brings donations and supporters. Can you imagine SS ship blocking Polarcus doing seismic survey or a Navy vessel? Meanwhile 2 kogias killed in Florida and countless others are being completely ignored. Basically the same mentality, ignore your own backyard and talk about Japanese, etc.

14) Can you comment on this quotation from 'Militarized Oceans' by William A. Nierenberg, 1968. 

"The fundamental reason why the oceans are attractive to military planners is that, to a first approximation, the submerged weapon is invisible...The only reliable sensor of ay range is acoustic sonar...even today's crude nuclear submarine employs a team well-skilled in contending with sonar, and antisubmarine warfare has become an engineers nightmare because of the need to exploit to the extreme this one sensor. 

In order to appreciate the future of undersea warfare, it is necessary to understand some aspects of the current state of the oceanographic sciences and their development. In no other field of warfare does the environment enter in so complex a way to fashion and fix the character of the operations. The classical example is that of biological intervention. In the air and on the ground the intervention of an animal or plant in military operations is rare and noteworthy. In the sea, freedom from such interference - by organisms that reflect sonar pulses, for example - would be extraordinary."

Absolutely agree and we’ve mentioned it above. All these things are invisible, even 'euthanasia' of stranded whales is invisible. While we have footage of Japanese killing dolphins, we have no footage of NZ DOC shooting pilots in a head, no one sees the agony of a whale dying from explosives, or a small kogia dying quietly next to her calf, that is up next for execution. What Navy and Big Oil do out there is invisible, as there are no 'guardians' or 'defenders' to travel there and document it. Sadly people are under impression that since they do not see it, it is not happening.

15) You made the point in a posting from two years ago that when a mass-stranding of cetaceans occurs, the number of dead of injured that we actually see represents only a small fraction of the total number who were killed or injured. Comment...

Yes, we cited a study about dead carcasses, where controlled release offshore ofdead carcasses only yield to 8% of carcasses actually washing ashore. So what we see on our shores is a tiny fragment of what is going on. That is why we believed so strongly (and failed to communicate it to the public) that every live stranded cetacean is a miracle that went through hell to stay alive and because of that should be given any help imaginable to survive.

16) Of all the stranding events you have observed or become aware of in recent years, how many of these were associated with seismic/geo-physical exploration activity and/or military war-games and/or 'hazardous operations' in the same area? Comment...

More than anyone realizes.

17) You are currently claiming that all your work with SNM was useless and had no effect, but I counter that the battle is not yet over. I have been working on making the connection between DRIVING and supporting 'big oil' and the Navy who in reality works for 'big oil.' Do you think it's impossible that people are going to make this connection and act on it?  

StrandedNoMorehas been in existence for 3 years and we came to very sad realizations unfortunately.

1. The majority of the public simply does not care

2. A small minority that does care is too small to make a significant difference.

3. Realistically we cannot stop the Navy or the Big Oil. We can hamper them slightly, we can huff and puff on FB, share posts, write about how horrible it is, etc. but it does not save one dolphin or whale.

4. The only thing we can do is to achieve 100% success of rescuing stranded alive cetaceans. For now statistics worldwide would be like 20% or so.

5. In order to do that the public needs to give hell to govt. organizations like NOAA, FWS, DOC, etc and rescues like Riverhead, ORRCA, Project Jonah, BDMLR, IWDG, etc. This is the only way. But the public does not want controversy, they want to play nice, they do not want to criticize 'poor rescues'. It would be awesome to see a live chain shielding stranded pilots or kogias and preventing 'rescues' from euthanizing them, sadly we do not see it happening in the near or far future.

6. It is easier to blast Japanese than to stop driving, stop using oil, how do you get to work then, right? Criticizing Japanese or Faroes does not require significant personal sacrifice, such as for example stop driving and consuming oil or stand on the beach in Florida and protest missile test off Florida coast.

18) The global fishing industry is also a MAJOR threat to cetaceans, not only from drift and gill-nets but also from the astronomical amount of sonars that THEY use. If we all stopped eating FISH and became vegetarians, this would also be a huge step towards protecting cetaceans and our own health as well...but again, do you think this is another 'impossible' possibility?

Again, this goes along the lines with personal sacrifice we talked above…

20) A pattern seemed to emerge of unnecessary 'euthanasia' of stranded cetaceans, particularly here in New Zealand. These 'executions' seem to take place immediately without even the meagerest attempts of rescue, relocation or assistance to the stranded cetacean. You posted a link to an article from the Royal Society about the 'necessity' of instantly 'euthanising' all stranded cetaceans.   In my mind, this 'imperative' masks an agenda of attempting to cover up the possibility of anyone discovering the REAL causes of the strandings, that is, discovering internal organ damage, hemoragghing or damage to auditory system, etc, evidence of injury from high-powered sonar or seismic blasts. Even here in NZ a few months ago marine biologist Liz Slooten expressed 'concern' that a pygmy sperm whale that stranded on a north island beach...IN THE VICINITY OF MASSIVE SEISMIC TESTING...was immediately 'euthanized' and the body disposed of before any necropsy could be performed. Comment...

Yes, this is a big issue. We have seen over and over again that euthanasia decisions are made rather quickly and lightly. It happens as we have data that even huge sperm whales can last up to 92 hrs waiting for rescue if cooled and cared for properly. One of the most overused excuses is a muscle damage, but we have stumbled upon the article recently where some new exercise craze caused muscle damage in one man and consecutive kidney failure, basically the same thing they say that would kill stranded whales and dolphins (we actually wrote a blog post about myoglobin/muscle damage that only like 20 people read over 3 years). Anyway, that man was rushed to hospital and was released 3 days after as they treated him. So what does it tell you? We can treat this condition in humans. We have medication. Why no one tries to use it on stranded cetaceans is beyond us.

Second thing is that necropsies are rarely done, especially in NZ where the only thing is done is a small tissue sample that is useless in determining cause of strandings. It is a nice set up since for all we know tons of strandings could have been caused by humans but we will never know about it.

Even when they do a necropsy, to get a copy of it is like to get a super CIA file, nearly impossible. Why so secretive?

21) The critically endangered Maui's dolphin here in NZ numbers only 55. Fishing... industrial and recreational... is alleged to be responsible for their demise, yet the souther zone of their remaining habitat is in the   north Taranaki basin, NZ's greatest concentration of hydro-carbon extraction and exploration. But these threats are hardly even mentioned. At a global conference a couple months ago, New Zealand was the ONLY COUNTRY to vote against any measures to protect the Maui's this insane or what?   Can you comment on the horror and sadness of this scenario, as the people of a supposedly 'progressive', not to mention '100% clean and green' country sit idly by while an entire SPECIES of beautiful dolphins goes extinct AND the government VOTES AGAINST DOING ANYTHING TO PROTECT THEM?

Is there ANY hope for 'humanity' as this point?

Sadly it is seen everywhere, same in the US, the Gulf of Mexico is choking, the Indian River Lagoon is seeing massive die off of everything alive. We are positive that the Navy and Big Oil will also get their pending permits and will start exercises, oil search in the future. These forces are too powerful, the economic interests are too strong. 


How Stranding Field Truly operates (interview with an anonymous insider)

We were lucky enough to be contacted by a person who obviously wanted to stay anonymous because this individual has been and still is very active in the stranding field. We were able to ask some questions and thought that our readers will be interested too. The below Q & A is about US stranding response, but we agreed to talk again in the future about more issues as well as other countries and other topics such as Navy, oil/gas industry, current research and so on. Apologies for awkward wordings in some places, we did not record anything obviously and were just taking notes as our conversation was going on.

Q. For the average volunteer or a member of the public everything in regard to strandings seems perfectly normal and reasonable. Why is it so?

A. It has been designed this way. Long time ago people figured the less info they make public the better they will be able to pacify the public and volunteers. What you do not know cannon enrage you, right? The public and volunteers are given the absolute bare minimum of the info, and usually they get only one side of the story with no alternatives or alternative ways of doing things. They are told, for example, “we are going to euthanize because we think it is appropriate” but there is no one to say “wait a minute, why don’t we try this and that or contact someone else for another opinion”.

Q. It actually ties nicely to our next question. Who and on what basis okays euthanasia?

A. You have to understand one thing. NMFS/NOAA is one huge, bureaucratic organization that is constantly under fire from all sides. One day fishermen complain about fishing restrictions, and the next day there are complains about issues with recreational sharks fishing, and it goes on and on. They are overwhelmed most of the time. They do oversee strandings but they also happily delegate most of the decisions and actions to NGOs who deal with stranded cetaceans firsthand. In other words if the rescue says we are going euthanize NMFS/NOAA are not going to fight them on that decision. In fact, their symbiotic relationships are quite successful. They got each other’s back most of the time, because if the public gets outraged (as it happens from time to time) the rescue calls on NMFS/NOAA and they pacify the public by saying it was their decision. Just like in that case of EH humpback whale your organization has criticized. When it became clear that the public is uneasy about all that, NMFS/NOAA stepped in as they usually do.

The most interesting issue is veterinarians. Stranding NGO’s are required to be associated with some sort of veterinarians, but often these people do not have enough experience with wild cetaceans or work for industry, just like Sea World vets during the last stranding in Key Largo. And honestly how could they? They see one beaked whale in a beach a year and pilot whales are hard to come by too. There are formal requirements for veterinarians, but you wil be fine if you only have been tending bottlenose dolphins most of the time. Many NGOs do not have vets on staff and just call on outside vets when stranding occurs. What it all means, is that most of the time attending vets do not have much experience with wild cetaceans, especially the offshore ones. They simply do not know what to do with them because the majority of those vets were not involved in many successful rescues and rehabilitation. It all comes to this. The whales or dolphins strand, if alive then the responding NGO will call on their vet (most likely from outside as they do not have money to keep one on staff all the time). The vet responds, if the animal is not chirp and well, it will be euthanized, “to release suffering”. It is very uncommon to contact anyone from outside for another opinion. Sometimes it can be taken to rehab, but it does not mean that euthanasia option is not on the table anymore.Then the decision is passed along to NMFS/NOAA that will not fight it either as they are overwhelmed with many other issues. And this is how it happens.

Q. We are amazed how the high mortalities and suffering of stranded whales and dolphins does not get attention of any cetacean welfare organizations or animal rights groups in general. Why do you think it happens?

A. Because very little information is released to the public. They always get one side of the story, because NGOs/NMFS/NOAA carefully prepare all press releases and decide what is going to be released and what will not be released. I’ve mentioned it before, it is unheard of to seek another opinion or alternative, so it is done as it has always been done, some info is released, the public is pacified by “experts”, volunteers have their “debriefing” which in my opinion is nothing else but brainwash and everybody part their ways happy and content.

Q. You mentioned that very little information is released to the public. We have been also talking about it a lot, especially the necropsy reports. Why would necropsy reports be so hard to get?

A. It is a big problem, I agree. The system was set up decades ago when the US Stranding Response was in its infancy. However, the decision not to make everything in regard to strandings public came a bit later. There were numerous mass strandings in 80s (if I remember correctly) that were sort of tied to the Navy, as a result it was decided back then to keep most of it away from the public domain. Now it is even more complicated because there are law suits, many more animal rights groups, etc. Today the goal is to release as little as possible and to make it very hard to obtain to get the full picture. Everybody likes this type of set up because it takes away responsibility, accountability  and any headache in general because it is impossible to dispute any euthanasia or other actions that were not necessary or even harmful for stranded animals.

Q. The last question. What do you think can be done to change it all?

A. Only the public can change it. The public needs to demand the full disclosure of all data/information about strandings. Everything should be in a public domain in an easily accessible format. The public actually has much more power than people realize they do. NMFS/NOAA are government entities supported by the taxpayers’ money, and taxpayers have a big say in all that. There is absolutely no reason to keep any strandings data away from the public.  NGOs are also public nonprofits that rely on the public for donations, volunteering and so on. In my opinion, the full disclosure of data/info about strandings is a big first step.

Thank you very much! To be continued....

Strandings, Navy, and Oil/Gas Industry (interview with anonymous insider): Part 2

Finally we had more time to talk and ask more questions in regard to strandings, the Navy and Oil and Gas Industry. Just to remind our friends, we have been contacted by a person who is very well connected in Marine Mammal field and who also supports our mission. This individual agreed to answer our questions but wished to remain anonymous. 

Q. Thank you very much for agreeing to answer more questions. In this part we would like to discuss the Navy and Oil/Gas industry and strandings. Our first question is what is the real influence of the Navy over stranding field and MM scientific field in general?

A. The short answer would be the Navy's influence on MM science field is enormous. They fund the majority of research in the areas of their interest, period. And because funding is hard to get these days, many researchers and Universities rely heavily on this money. Because the Navy funds only what they are interested in, these areas get the most funding. And clearly stranding field is not of much interest to the Navy; in fact they probably want to be a mess for as long as possible. In recent years along with traditional research done by universities, numerous "consulting" groups and companies popped up that are well connected to the Navy and NMFS/NOAA. They also usually get some funding to investigate what Navy wants them to investigate. The saddest thing about this all, is the fact that there are only few researchers out there who can be truly considered independent of this influence. If you take a look at the past 10-20 years of research in the area of the interest to the Navy, you will find probably bare minimum of studies that were done without Navy involvement in one way or the other. The situation is dire, because we do not get the whole picture and we have minimal independent research. Today when getting funding is more difficult than ever we are left with a handful people doing research and the majority of them are funded by the Navy. Sadly, I do not see it changing in the near future unless we can manage to set up an international fund that could be the alternative way of funding independent research in these hot topic areas. 

As for Navy's involvement in stranding field it is minimal, because clearly they could care less about strandings and just do not want to be connected in any way to any events. They do not fund stranding research, in fact apart from Prescott grant that funds rescues, very little goes to the actual research, especially to the causes of mass strandings and to fund the search for the evidence of sonar induced trauma. 

Q. What do you personally think about the Navy’s sonar influence on strandings?

A. I think that numerous strandings that are caused by the Navy's sonar are never connected to them. The whole setup is in their favor. First they do not tell anyone where, when and what they do. There are of course highly publicized events such as Rimpac for example, but they do much more than that. For example very often it is just one vessel firing sonar. So if a pygmy sperm whale or two strand after, nobody would know. The way how strandings are investigated does not help either. Today, nobody in the US specifically searches for sonar induced trauma. First you need to know what to search for and next you should be willing to do it. And it is just simply not happening. What we have here is a perfect storm, because on one hand the Navy is not very forthcoming with info about their activities and on the other hand the set up of the stranding field allows it to slide under investigated. I personally think we are greatly underestimating the mortalities. 

Q. What is the role of Oil and Gas Industry in strandings?

A. The official view is none. There have been only anecdotal evidence and nobody actually did a study on this topic. The airguns they use are extremely powerful and unlike sonar, they are firing day and night, practically nonstop. Yes, they have MMO (or infamous marine mammal observers) the same way as the Navy does, but it is pretty much worthless and only needed to comply with requirements. Just like the Navy, the industry does not disclose where, when and what they are doing because it is considered their commercial know-how. Because of that if some cetacean strands somewhere, we will never know because we have no idea what they have been doing.

I would like to say that both the Navy and the industry have everything working in their favor. They are not required to disclose what they do, and without this data there is no credible way to link their activities to strandings. Because they also fund the research they can and do say, see we did this and that study and we found no smoking gun, therefore there is no significant relationship and we can proceed with whatever we need to do. 

Q. What in your opinion can be done to change this dismal situation?

A. In my opinion, the most important step is to create an independent entity that can fund research in these hot topic areas. We have been getting one point of view for too long; it is time to change it. Next, we need to establish one unifying protocol not just in the US but also worldwide where each live stranding should be investigated for sonar/airgun induced trauma. And if the rescue chooses not to do so, they would need to justify this type of decision. Finally, just as we discussed in our first interview, transparency should be the new standard for the stranding field. Everything should be out in the open for everyone to see. 


"Drs. Chris Clark and Peter Tyack presented initial results at this meeting from their LFA SRP, designed to assess the characteristics of human sound in the ocean that might produce a 'significant impact' on whales. Their preliminary data suggest that any observed impacts were not biologically significant, and while their analysis was incomplete, they expressed relief that their initial concerns seemed alleviated. Dr. Roger Payne argued further that preconceptions about human acoustical impacts might be excessive. In his view we must be willing to accept that perhaps whales are capable of dealing * with human noise, whether from shipping, seismic surveys, or the LFA. The ocean was a noisy place long before humans added to the din. In this context the LFA is just one more possible irritant, but not a serious threat to the survival of populations."

* The whales' way of 'dealing' with our acoustic warfare attack is to become deaf then to die


[JEFF] "Hey, I don't think that the NRDC ever accomplishes much in actuality...they're ALWAYS asking for money so that they can 'TELL' all these 'big oil' and navy people to STOP DOING THOSE BAD THINGS...but they never stop and NRDC continually asks for more money to tell them to stop. THEY ARE NOT STOPPING ANYTHING. We've got to go to the next level and realize that ANYONE who lives by driving a car is the problem...WE have the ability to drastically reduce our addiction to hyrdo-carbons and petrochemicals...I see this awareness as THE biggest thing to work on. What do you reckon? cheers jeff"

[SNM] "Yes, sadly they do not accomplish much, they had few successful law suits though, but it is so hard to actually do anything because the Navy and NMFS are in the same boat, just like you said. I talked once with NRDC's lawyer, they seem to think that the only way they can achieve something is through legal means by suing the sh!t out of everything.
But something can be done though, for example Japex (Japanese oil company) was kicked out of Philippines because people protested a lot and kept filing law suits against them to the point that their activities became unprofitable. 

But in the US we are dealing with formidable opponents, I mean the Navy basically can do whatever hell it wants and no one can stop them. Maybe NMFS wants to do something, but they are like UK queen, just a decoration with no power. I sometimes wonder why don't they just cut the crap and let the Navy do whatever it wants without even applying for any permits. 

The oil industry is a bit different as they are corporations and are interested in profit, so there is some room here. 

But you are right addiction to oil is the driving force for this stuff."




NOTE FROM JEFF:  It seems obvious to me that all the hullabaloo with Sea Shepherd and the 'clearly evil Japanese whalers' is no more than 'reality tv' on a large scale, scripted by the producers of 'Whale Wars', sponsored by Animal Planet and Discovery Communications, who also hosts the Military Channel, and designed to distract the public from what is really going on with real threats to marine life globally. These 'made-for-tv-dramas' make lots of money for all parties involved, but not only fail to 'save the whales' but add a tremendous amount of anthropogenic noise and intrusion into the southern ocean. Cetacean strandings and mass die-offs of marine life are increasing exponentially all around the world, indisputably linked to military-industrial activity, yet Sea Shepherd and other 'environmental capitalist' organizations NEVER even mention these real global threats. The really scary part is that the beings who we discover on the beaches or floating in the water represent only a tiny fraction of the total number who were killed...possibly less than 10%. Last year around this time a MAJOR die-off of cetaceans occurred in this exact same area off the northwest coast of Peru.  This area is home to one of the largest off-shore hydrocarbon deposits on the planet; consequently a massive amount of off-shore geophysical exploration is going on involving seismic testing technologies as well as military operations. Last year a joint exercise involving surface vessels and submarines was going on between the US and Peruvian navies when the mass-stranding/die-off occurred. This pattern of events has just occurred off the west coast of the UK and is going to be happening more and more in the territorial waters of Australia and New Zealand as military-industrial ecological war-machines like Anadarko Petroleum expand their operations in the middle of some of the world's densest populations of cetaceans. This is EXTREMELY BAD KARMA for all entities pretending to be 'human beings.'



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