Return-path: <email@example.com> Received: from whale.simmons.edu by VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU (PMDF V5.0-4 #8767) id <01I074Q42JAO8X2HXQ@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU> for whalenet@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU; Fri, 19 Jan 1996 14:29:02 -0400 (EDT) Received: by whale.simmons.edu (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA12507; Fri, 19 Jan 1996 14:27:52 -0500 (EST) Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 14:27:52 -0500 (EST) From: Michael Williamson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Info: Whales among victims still suf (fwd) To: WhaleNet <whalenet@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU> Message-id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960119142739.12308H-100000@WHALE.SIMMONS.EDU> MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 19 Jan 96 12:39:00 UTC 0000 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Whales among victims still suf Whales among victims still suffering from spill By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 18 (Reuter) - A pod of killer whales that swam through spilled oil from the Exxon Valdez in 1989 is still suffering from the pollution and likely will die eventually from the effect, said scientists attending a conference here this week. The A-B whale pod -- the most visible and prominent group of orcas around Prince William Sound -- has shrunk by a third since the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, said Craig Matkin, a marine mammal specialist from Homer, Alaska. "The decline is pretty directly attributable to the spill. It's probably a direct result of being in oil," said Matkin, who said the pod size is now 22 compared to its pre-spill level of 36. The whales are among the still-suffering victims of the nation's worst oil spill, which dumped 11 million gallons into the sound. Matkin said he believes the orcas are doomed because their complex social structure was ripped apart by deaths of females and juveniles. Now some members of the pod spend their days swimming alone, and the normally gregarious animals are likely to die alone, he said. "With the A-B pod, I'm doubtful that they would recover," he said. Matkin released results of his study at a three-day scientific conference held by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, the federal and state panel administering money paid by Exxon to settle goverment lawsuits. Another pod that uses the sound, the transient A-T pod, is also faltering in the spill's aftermath, Matkin said. One theory is that the whales are suffering because of a loss of harbour seals, a prey species for the transient pods. The sound's population of harbour seals -- falling even before the 1989 spill -- is still declining at about 6 percent a year, scientists said. Seabirds, otters and other animals have also suffered declines since the spill, scientists said at the conference, which ended Thursday.