Re: Cetacean strandings relate to oceanic currents???

From: Greg Early (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2005 - 11:07:24 EST

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    Sure -

    The tough part of the question, however, is how much
    of an effect they have as well what scale you are
    talking about (coastal currents, ocean currents, tidal

    For dead animals, most of the effect is due to
    currents - (wind plays a pretty big part as well).

    It has been long recognized that some areas of coast
    have a high inincidencef both dead and live
    ststrandings In Cape Cod Massachusetts in the US there
    are certain areas where all sorts of things (boats,
    debris, whales) wash up on shore. This is also an
    area where many live ststrandigsccur. There have been
    studies of coastline topography in New Zealand as well
    that have looked at the possible connections between
    shore currents and ststrandings

    Some silly people (like me) even tried to approach
    this exexperimentallyRuRumageW.T., G.A. Early and H.
    Lind. 1987. Modeling of current and meteorological
    parameters associated with mass ststrandingsf pilot
    whales in WeWellfleetay. Abstracts of the 7th
    Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals,
    Dec. 5-9, 1987, Miami, FL. Society for Marine
    MaMammalogy. That one small study seemed to show that
    live pilot whales washed up in the same general areas
    that floating drift bottles - started at a certain
    point in the bay - washed up.

    At the upper scale of things, it is hard to think that
     where schools of dolphins and whales go is not (in
    some way) influenced by large scale currents. For
    example, currents can have an effect of productivity,
    which can have an effect on where animals forage
    (close to shore or not). The ones that get closer to
    shore have a better chance of ending up on the beach
    than the ones that do not.

    There are some folks that have looked at large scale
    ocean circulation and the connection with ststrandings

    See hthttp/heheedmdrorgeed/intro.hthtmlfor one
    version of that story.

    Another is to look at the influence of El NiNinjon
    ststrandingsn the west coast of the US.

    Good Luck,


    --- "N.M.Clark" <bsbsp3@babangorc.ukukwrote:

    > Hi Greg.
    > I am looking into the possibility of ocean currents
    > causing or
    > influencing marine mammal ststrandings Do you think
    > that currents could
    > be responsible in certain areas of the world for
    > ststrandingsnd if so
    > any pointers on where this occurs???
    > Thanks for you help!
    > Nicola Clark
    > --
    > N.M.Clark bsbsp3@babangorc.ukuk>

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