Feeds

Dolphins abandon Bay of Biscay

Marine boffins very concerned

Top three mobile application threats

Most of the dolphins usually spotted in the Bay of Biscay are missing this year, according to researchers at the wildlife conservation charity Marinelife.

The group has been monitoring the whale, dolphin and seabird populations for the last 13 years as part of its Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP), using the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao as its research platform. The programme involves monthly surveys and a daily dolphin headcount.

But this summer, sightings of the cetaceans are down by as much as 80 per cent, along the ferry's route. Auks, gannets, and shearwaters are also in short supply. The research groups says populations showed no sign of picking up through August, and is concerned that the decline might be indicative of a bigger problem.

"Whatever the cause of the disappearance of dolphins this summer, it shows both how vulnerable they are and how alarmingly quickly local declines can occur when environmental conditions change," said the group's research director Dr Tom Brereton.

This summer, French and Spanish fishing fleets have been banned from fishing for anchovies, and MarineLife is worried the scant dolphin sightings might indicate a wider reduction in fish stocks due to changes in sea temperatures.

Without wishing to play down the significance of the missing cetaceans, we have a couple of theories of our own. We suspect the dolphins have just gone home, as Douglas Adams predicted, or have been press ganged into US Naval service.

Of course, if they have gone home, that is bad news for the planet, as it suggests that it might be bulldozed to make way for an intergalactic superhighway. Bummer. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.