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MORE than 200 dolphins have beached themselves on Manila Bay in the Philippines.
"This is an unusual phenomenon," Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Malcolm Sarmiento told local radio, estimating the number of dolphins at "more than 200".
He said smaller pods of dolphins numbering "in the tens and twenties" had beached themselves elsewhere in the Philippines previously, but this was the first time so many had done so at the same time and place.
Notch and Naia are two very lucky dolphins, reports Beatriz Canals of WFOR-TV in Miami. They're lucky to be alive.
They and 70 other rough-toothed dolphins ended up stranded in Florida's Marathon Key early last month.
Notch and Naia beat the odds.
"Eighteen (we) were able to get out to deep water right away," says Lurie King of the Marine Animal Rescue Society. "Twenty, unfortunately, died during the stranding. The remaining 32 were brought to three different rehabilitation sites. Notch and Naia, because they were hanging out together, were brought here."
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a dispute over President Bush's attempt to exempt the Navy from environmental laws restricting its use of mid-frequency sonar in training exercises off Southern California. Mid-frequency sonar travels shorter distances, but environmental groups say it is more harmful to sea creatures than low-frequency pulses.
Under Tuesday's settlement, the Navy can use low-frequency sonar only in certain areas near the Philippines and Japan, with seasonal restrictions, and in another region 50 miles north and south of Hawaii, far removed from two Hawaiian sanctuaries for marine life.
Tueday's settlement allows the Navy to use sonar in a restricted area when necessary to track submarines during actual operations. That exception does not apply during training.
Beaching is often fatal for whales, as they become dehydrated and die. Some die when their lungs are suffocated under their own weight or drown when high tides cover their blowholes.
A controversial theory, researched by Jim Berkland, a former geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, attributes the strange behaviour to radical changes in the Earth's magnetic field just prior to earthquakes and in the general area of earthquakes. Berkland says when this occurs, it interferes with sea mammals' and even migratory birds' ability to navigate, which explains the mass beachings. He says even dogs and cats can sense the disruptions, which explains elevated rates of runaway pets in local newspapers a day or two before earthquakes occur. Research on Earth's magnetic field and how it is affected by moving tectonic plates and earthquakes is ongoing.
Military Sonar is commonly responsible for the beaching of marine animals.
Perhaps there was some testing going on.
BALANGA, Philippines (AFP) - - Scores of fisherman and volunteers managed to guide more than 200 dolphins into deep water after they beached themselves in Manila Bay, officials in the Philippines said Tuesday.
Three of the dolphins were found dead and authorities feared others would die unless they could guide them into deeper water.
“We prevented a massive stranding. We’re now trying to find out what exactly is causing this strange behavior,” Sarmiento said.
She said boats were patrolling nearby to encourage them to continue heading out to sea rather than return to the beach.
"The real concern is that they might come back and strand. It is really quite common for pods to restrand so we are hoping it won't happen," Ms Campbell said.
Dozens of stranded pilot whales were shot dead in January in New Zealand after it was ruled too difficult to get them back in the sea.
The biggest recorded mass stranding on the New Zealand coast involved 1,000 pilot whales on the Chatham Islands in 1918.
Experts say they are unable to explain why the mammals swim into the dangerously shallow waters.
Originally posted by interestedalways
I had no idea that this *beaching* has happened so many times.
How very painful it must be to those whales and dolphins that their ears actually bleed!
How very sad.