Alarm as baby whales keep dying; Since 2011 none have survived over a year

Fukushima is a pretty close approximation of ‘The China Syndrome’; Melted fuel cores burned through containment vessels and material is below reactor structures mixing with groundwater — Essentially it’s a machine that’s washing radioactivity into the sea

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King 5 News (Seattle), Oct. 21, 2014: Baby orca death triggers alarm; The recent loss… is sounding off alarms since its been years since a baby orca has survived — “Researchers say there is no hope for a missing baby orca… The baby — which was born just last month — is nowhere in sight… The loss of yet another baby orca… A grim reality is taking shape… This isreally kind of scary, because it’s been years since one of these little guys has survived… Babies are not surviving, and [biologist Ken Balcomb] says some whales appear pregnant for weeks, only to be seen later no longer pregnant… Some scientists believe the orcas… could be poisoning their own babies with toxic mother’s milk.”

  • King 5: No orca births were recorded last year and it’s been 3 years since a baby… survived more than a year
  • The Journal: [The mother’s] 2nd offspring [also] died in early 2012
  • Post Intelligencer: The loss of her 2nd baby must be especially traumatic
  • Reuters: The number of orcas in ocean waters off the Pacific NW [are at] some of their lowest levels in history
  • The Journal: [Orca] numbers continue to plummet… Chinook [salmon], the primary source of prey of the resident whales, [are at] historic lows. The population… is at a 30-year low… 30 years ago, there were anywhere between 3 to 9 babies each year
  • AP: Two other whales are presumed dead after disappearing earlier this year

Interview with John Durban, NOAA biologist, Oct 7, 2014: The very skinny one, that is not what we’re used to seeing killer whales look like… You can see the skull… It’s in incredibly poor condition… While we were [taking photos] he disappeared and stopped swimming with his brother, and has almost certainly passed away… It’s a skeleton with skin… Another very skinny whale… she’s very slender… a depression behind the head… You can see the shape of her skeleton.

Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Jun 5, 2014 (53:00 in): I’m not sampling or analyzing [whales or other marine mammals for Fukushima radionuclides]… Agencies are doing this in a very, I’d say [laughs] ‘limited’ way… We should be making these measurements, we owe it to everyone… If something is happening, can we attribute it to one source of contaminants or another? Without measurements we’ll never know, so the concern will always be there… We should be monitoring… whales and seals… I haven’t seen any data that suggests it’s of concern, again that’s partly because I’ve not seen a lot of data… We need measurements.

Watch the King 5 News broadcast here

San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 2, 2014: Rare changes in wind patterns this fall have caused the Pacific Ocean off California and the West Coast to warm to historic levels, drawing in a bizarre menagerie of warm-water species. The mysterious phenomena are surprising fishermen… El Niño isn’t driving this year’s warm-water spike… Nor is climate change… All year [NOAA] scientists… have been forecasting an El Niño… But now the water is only slightly warmer than normal at the equator, leading scientists to declare a mild El Niño is on the way… The ocean changes also have affected birds. As ocean upwelling stalled in the summer, less krill and other food rose from the depths. As a result, several species of birds, including common murres, had high rates of egg failure on the Farallon Islands, 27 miles west of San Francisco.

Jaime Jahncke, California Current Group director of Point Blue in Petaluma, Nov. 2, 2014: “The krill that is usually present disappeared, and the fish that some of these birds rely on disappeared… Up until July we had an abundance of whales around the Farallons, mostly humpback whales, and some blue whales. And when we went back in September, there was no krill and the whales were nearly absent.”

Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Federation of Fishermen’s Associations in San Francisco, Nov. 2, 2014: “Our guys in Santa Barbara are saying there’s almost nothing down there. Just a lot of warm, clear water, a little bit of salmon and not much else.”

Joe Welsh, associate curator of collecting for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Nov. 2, 2014: “It is an oddball year… There’s a lot to learn out there.”

See also: Experts: Scary problems off California — Possibly “no food anywhere” along Pacific coast, except isolated areas — “Like crime scene investigation” in ocean — Certainly Fukushima is one of stresses to sea life — Dolphins, whales more likely to be bathed in radiation (VIDEO)

And: Gov’t Scientists: “Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada — “Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?” (MAP)

See also: US gov’t analysis says Fukushima is more serious than ‘China Syndrome’ — Destroyed reactors suffered worst type of containment failure (PHOTOS)

Full broadcast here

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