Dolphin and Whale Magazine :  January issue 2011
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Dolphins Saved Me
By Phil Mercer BBC correspondent in Sydney

"The sharks circled Mr Dickson as he bled in the water"

An Australian fisherman, rescued after 40 hours clinging to an upturned dinghy, says he owes his life to dolphins that chased off a pack of circling sharks. Thirty-six-year-old Grant Dickson's prawn trawler sank in rough seas off the coast of northern Queensland. Two other crew members are feared drowned. A search involving 18 aircraft covering over 2,000 square nautical miles has so far found no sign of the missing men.
Bleeding heavily and clinging to an upturned boat, Grant Dickson described how a group of sharks had stalked him after his fishing boat had sunk.
It was, he felt, only a matter of time before they attacked him. Talking on Australian television, the fisherman said one shark in particular was moving closer and closer, before the intervention of a pod of dolphin which moved in and scared the predators away. His ordeal lasted several more hours as he continued to drift in the Pacific ocean. Thoughts of his family, he said, gave him the determination to survive.
He was eventually rescued by a passing cruise ship almost two days after his trawler sank. It went down in rough seas after its nets had snagged on seaweed near Dunk Island, south of Cairns. Mr Dickson, who is in hospital recovering from exposure, has described how he managed to reach an inflatable dinghy with another crew member, who then disappeared after deciding to try to swim back to land. The boat's skipper has also not been found, despite an extensive air and sea search. Rescue teams have continued to look for them but admit that as every hour passes, the chances of finding the missing fishermen alive are becoming more remote.
Entangled Humpback Seeks Aid from Humans
by Anni, Wade Doak's blog

A whale watching boat, "The Nautilus" was about 12 miles ENE off Kennebunkport, Maine, when they encountered a humpback female nicknamed "Sickle" by research biologists. This was the first unusual clue, because they normally have to be 20 miles out before a sighting.

According to Captain Jim Harkins, whom I interviewed by phone, he and his crew became concerned by her behavior - she was simply "bobbing" in the water, not her usual cavorting. He slowly approached the whale and then shut the boat down completely.

He says that she then passed across the bow of the boat and came along the port side and remained nearly motionless, sidewise, about five feet away - exposing her left pectoral. They were stunned to find the fin completely encased in 300 feet of 3/8 inch nylon fishing rope! They said it was obvious to him, the crew and their 50 enthralled passengers that "Sickle" was quite deliberately asking for help!

She had her spring-born calf with her, hovering within feet, and both of them remained calm and motionless as the crew used a gaff pole to gently and gradually dislodge all the line from her fin, pulling it on board. He remarked that it could have been disastrous, had she opted to thrash or move off, because in their haste, they had it all entangled around their feet! They were finally able to get it all off, and cut it - to the applause and jubilation of the passengers!

And, most magically, the clearly grateful "Sickle" and her calf decided to stay with her rescuers, hovering near the boat for one and a half hours, as her enchanted admirers communed with her!

Sperm Whale Supports Japanese Dolphin Watching Venture    By Sue Arnold

Robin Mankey and I have just returned from Japan, we were part of a small group of activists who went to Futo to support Ishi-san, a former dolphin hunter, in his first historic dolphin watching tour.

On Wednesday, the Japanese media turned up in their dozens to cover the event. Two fishing vessels were turned into dolphin watching boats for the day... us activists with a few media on one with Ishi-san driving and the other vessel packed with Japanese media.

Hours went by. Lots of birds, flying fish - nice scenery. We were all getting a little nervous knowing that the chances of seeing a dolphin at this time of the year were only 50/50. Besides, how were we to know whether the dolphins recognized the sounds of the engines of killer boats.

Ten minutes before we were due to go in, the radio phone crackled. Ishi-san got very excited yelling out - Whale.. Whale .. and pointing in the direction of the media vessel which was some distance away. We could see a black blob in the water. With tears pouring down his face, and all of us standing up shrieking with excitement, we raced across the water to see a very large SPERM WHALE circling the media vessel.

It was so close we all laughed.. .just out of touching distance. And for the next 20 minutes that whale just slouched around, giving the media an absolute field day. I have never seen a whale behave that way.. not even in San Ignacio Laguna.

This whale knew the boat was loaded with journalists.. he/she knew how important this historic event was to whales and dolphins.

The next night the story went right across Japan on national television - it was run in all the major papers.

We witnessed a miracle. Human and whale miracle.
Video about this Story

Man Saves Dolphins From Plastic Bags

The world's tallest man saved two dolphins by reaching into their stomachs with his 41.7-inch arms and pulling out some plastic they shouldn't have eaten.

According to the AP, "Bao Xishun, 54, was confirmed last year by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest living man." He's 7'8" tall.

by Wade Doak

This is one of the most incredible stories we have ever put on
 this website; all well documented with video.

Amazingly, yesterday on 30 May 2010, Dr. Ingrid Visser, long term orca researcher, had the male orca she helped to rescue from stranding at Ruakaka, still with his mother and his big brother, swim past her cliff-top house/orca research center which is just south of Matapouri Bay on the Tutukaka Coast.  The stranding had occurred four days earlier on 26 May. Ruakaka Beach is a few hours swim to the south and beyond Whangarei Harbour.

The photo from off her house shows: bottom to top: big brother, mother and her rescued younger son. How different reality is from our popular assumptions: without scientific research people seeing this group would assume it was big daddy with his wife and kid. But  that is not how the matriarchal orca society works.

Daring rescue of whale off Farallones
Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks after they untangled her from crab lines, diver says

December 14, 2005|By Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer

A humpback whale freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines near the Farallon Islands nudged its rescuers and flapped around in what marine experts said was a rare and remarkable encounter.

"It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," James Moskito, one of the rescue divers, said Tuesday. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun."

Sunday's daring rescue was the first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback, said Shelbi Stoudt, stranding manager for the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County.

The 45- to 50-foot female humpback, estimated to weigh 50 tons, was on the humpbacks' usual migratory route between the Northern California coast and Baja California when it became entangled in the nylon ropes that link crab pots.

One of the divers on the rescue team works on the crab pot lines that held the female humpback whale near the Farallon Islands. The weight of the crab pots was pulling the animal down. Marine Mammal Center photo via Associated Press
Credit: Marine Mammal Center
Moskito and three other divers spent about an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale floated passively in the water the whole time, he said, giving off a strange kind of vibration.

"When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," Moskito said. "It was an epic moment of my life."

When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.

"It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that's happy to see you," Moskito said. "I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelievable experience."

The Whale Movie Coming Soon

“The Whale” is a Hollywood film appearing soon. Produced by Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johanssen the film is an adaptation of a Canadian couples’ multiple award-winning video about Luna, the young, solitary orca that invested enormous amounts of time and energy befriending humans in British Columbia.

Producers Chisolm and Parfit made “Saving Luna” which aired in Canada and abroad. 

The new Hollywood version suggests that instead of looking for intelligent life in outer space maybe we should look to the toothed whales which, like us, have the largest, most advanced brains on earth.

No one knows how Luna became separated from her pod in Puget Sound, but some First Nations people of southern B.C. resisted efforts of the government to return Luna to her native pod because they considered him a reincarnated chief. Caught between native traditions and wildlife bureaucrats, Luna finally died when run over by a barge.

What is undeniable is the persistence and determination of Luna to befriend humans, not unlike a number of solitary, wild dolphins around the globe.

“The Whale” movie should strengthen the human/whale connection and prompt action for cetaceans and the seas.

See video about The Whale movie

Orca Rescues Boy at Sea


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