Whale deaths in the Canary Islands

One in three deaths of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Canaries Islands are caused by human activities (El Mundo). This is the findings of a study on 233 Cetaceans beached in archipelago between 1999 and 2005. 14% died from interactions with fishing, 9.4% associated with military maneuvers and 4.5% due to resulting pathologies The remaining 62% died from natural diseases or 4.3% for unknown reasons”. Antonio Fernández, the researcher in charge of the study noted that many deaths from natural causes may also result from a weakening of their immunodeficiency due to pollution, and suspects that the proven 4.5% could be the tip of the iceberg. The same team gained international recognition with their study published in nature on whale strandings due to military sonar in the Canary Islands. This cause of death appears to have fallen with the prohibition of sonar use within 50 miles of the Canaries.

fin whale

Photo of beached Fin whale (rorcual común – Balaenoptera physalus) in Las Palmas