Case Study: ATOC and Dead Humpabcks

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 22 Nov 1995 10:03:13

Return-path: <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Received: from FLO.ORG by VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU (PMDF V5.0-4 #8767)
 Sun, 19 Nov 1995 19:27:20 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 19:33:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: ATOC and Dead Humpabcks
Message-id: <951119193314.8f3e@FLO.ORG>
Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 19-NOV-1995 12:17:36.99
Subj:	Re: Dead humpbacks near ATOC source
Date:         Thu, 16 Nov 1995 15:55:31 -0800
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Comments:     Warning -- original Sender: tag was rbaird@SOL.UVIC.CA
From:         Lance Morgan <>
Subject:      Re: Dead humpbacks near ATOC source
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
>A total of three dead humpback whales were spotted off the Farrallon
>Islands, in the broad area around the ATOC sound source.  The first
>was found 3 Nov., and buried without autopsy.  The second two were
>found floating 9 Nov.  These two were lost somewhere outside Santa
>Cruz; one was last sighted Monday, Nov. 13, I believe.  The ATOC
>sound source was first turned on during the night of Oct. 28, and was
>broadcasting on 12 further occasions between 28 Oct. and 4 Nov.
>Unfortunately, the Scripps oceanographers in charge of the ATOC
>project had neglected to clearly notify the ATOC marine mammal
>scientists that the source would be broadcasting, which was in
>violation of agreed-upon scientific protocol.
>Information on whether anyone has spotted humpback whale carcasses or
>any other dead marine life near the Farrallons would be highly
>appreciated.  Has anyone made any observations of toxic algal blooms
>in this area?   Any comments (stranding patterns this time of year,
>etc.) would be welcome.
In diving at Bodega Marine Lab  and Salt Pt. (both areas north of the
Farallones) during the Halloween week there was indeed a very large
Plankton (dinoflagellates ?) bloom.  This water mass was traveling north at
the time so that it likely originated within the Gulf of the Farallones and
was traveling north as a buoyancy current of was advected onhsore from an
offshore source. My guess is the former.  There was also a rainstorm that
week.  No idea whether they were toxic algae.
Lance Morgan                       Internet:
Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology
University of California           Lab: (916) 752-1270/0367
Davis, California  95616           FAX: (916) 752-4154