About a month ago, one of the oceans majestic creatures washed ashore in this little bay, dead!
A 10m female Southern Right Whale estimated to be about 5 years old, was sighted and reported to the authorities who have been out to examine her and do tests to try and ascertain the cause of her death.
A few weeks earlier it was reported that another baby whale had washed up – dead – a few kilometers further up the coast at Kei Mouth. Last week another baby whale washed up – dead – on the Amanzimtoti beach. This last week, hikers coming to Morgan Bay spotted a 3 m shark also washed up – dead – on the rocks. And as I hear yesterday a seal – dead – also washed up.
Now I am no oceanographer or deep sea animal expert, but even as a layman, there is something amiss. On talking to one of the authorities who came to run more tests on “our” whale yesterday, he told us about the seismic testing that has recently been carried out off the east coast of our shores.
This takes the form of seismic airgun blasting which is used to find oil and gas underneath the ocean floor, very similar to fracking above ground. Also as no expert I do however know that whales and dolphins communicate underwater with sound waves, so on reading an excerpt from oceana.org on airgun blasting, copied below, why has this not been banned off our coastline.
“Seismic airguns are towed behind ships and shoot loud blasts of compressed air through the water and miles into the seabed, which reflect back information about buried oil and gas deposits, every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, sometimes weeks at a time. These blasts harm marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and other wildlife. Impacts include temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of mating and feeding, and even beach strandings and death. For whales and dolphins, which rely on their hearing to find food, communicate, and reproduce, being able to hear is a life or death matter.”
If they are wanting any proof of this then all they need to do is come and visit our shoreline, which is really just a speck in the bigger scheme of things, where the death of 3 whales just in this short time are 3 too many. And these are only the ones that I know about. And the part that also really breaks my heart, on running tests, “our”whale was a mommy, as it was found that she was lactating and think that the baby washed up in Amanzimoti was her calf.
This blog therefore is an urgent appeal to all, please sign any petition that you may see involving the testing of our waters. We humans are destroying the very world we live in and the living things we share it with. Before it is too late!!!!!