An Unusual Visitor

BBC Wales (appropriately) reports here on the appearance in the South Irish Sea of numbers of Long Finned Pilot Whales (link):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-37198843
The species is quite prevalent in the Atlantic but less usually spotted in these waters. With whale watching now a major research and tourist industry all around these Islands we may get sightings off our shores as well.
The article points to a possible reason for their appearance in our seas (quote):
‘Dr Peter Evans, director of the research charity, said pilot whales typically live in large groups and feed on oceanic squid or shoaling fish.
“It is likely that an abundance of a particular prey species brought them into Welsh coastal waters on this occasion,” he added.’
It’s possible the intensive fishing by both EU and Chinese super trawlers we have outlined which is ongoing from Mauritania to the Faeroese Islands is depriving them of food stocks in the Western Atlantic, although numbers of this type of whale are said to be solid.
The whale species themselves are protected by International agreement so are not subject to whaling although small quantities are hunted in the Faroese Islands in a practice which the Islanders say dates back to Norse times. This has caused unfavourable criticism of the Faeroese in recent years. However time may even be called on whale hunting there as of the end of November 2008 the chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption because of the level of mercury in the whales.
At present the main threat to this and other large marine mammals is posed by over fishing.
Related links:
https://www.newscientist.com/…/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told…
https://www.seashepherd.org.au/…/death-trawler-on-its-way-d…
BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.
TEL: 01624 877918 or 07624 491609
27/08/16
THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issuesAn

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