Feeds

Dolphins abandon Bay of Biscay

Marine boffins very concerned

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?