Coy in the Kelp by Sarkatsha.
Been wanting to reign in my usual super bright blues and go for something more soft. Still getting used to light and underwater scenes. They are oddly difficult but calming at the same time. Used a sepia undertone at first, which looked like he was swimming…
Why is it dangerous to participate in a captive "Swim-With-Dolphins" Program? Here's one story of someone who was attacked by a captive dolphin.
These are wild animals. There’s no way, trained or not, that you can predict how they’re going to act, and they definitely can inflict some serious damage. Forget the debate over whether dolphins should be held in captivity or not for a minute, and consider the danger humans are being put in by…
- Gray whales are the most coastal of the large whales, rarely venturing more than 20 – 30kms offshore and has for this reason become one of the world’s most watched whales. They are also well known for performing one of the world’s longest migrations, making a yearly round trip of 15,000-20,000 km.
- Today, the main population is in the eastern North Pacific, which was reduced to a few hundred individuals by the early 1900s. Protection has however led to an increase in numbers and the population is considered to be recovering.
- The gray whale has a relatively small, narrow head, which arches distinctively between its blowhole and snout. The baleen plates are about 50cm long. It has grey skin, which can be slate-blue or marbled white; small yellow parasitic crustaceans on its skin, and often as much as 100 - 200kg of barnacles and whale lice attached to the head and body.
- Gray whales are active, inquisitive and friendly, often approaching boats. They show a range of surface behaviours, including spyhopping, lobtailing and breaching. They can also be seen surf-riding in very shallow waters.
- Gray whales are bottom feeders; they hunt seabed creatures by rolling over on one side then swimming slowly along sucking up sediment and the small creatures that live in it. They then sieve out the water and silt through their baleen, trapping the food behind.
- A typical group size is only 1 - 3 individuals. Gray whales are usually gentle creatures but gained a reputation as ‘devil fish’ for allegedly attacking the boats of those hunting them, which may have been partly due to defence of their young. Gray whales can live up to 70 years old.
- The species is listed as Least Concern by IUCN, whilst the western North Pacific stock is listed as Critically Endangered. Pollution, prey depletion and, in recent years, the resumption of a small scale hunt by the Makah Tribe off Washington State, impact the eastern North Pacific population today, as well as habitat loss, human disturbance and entanglement in fishing nets.
These are the whales we’d rather not see. Their bodies are graphically scarred, even sliced apart - not by whalers but by ships in Australian waters.
There’s the humpback nicknamed Bladerunner for the deep propeller cuts in its skin, which was photographed off Eden, NSW, by whale tour operator Cat Balou Cruises. Or another humpback seen recently in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands by researchers - its flesh opened to the backbone by an unknown vessel.
Injurious or fatal ship strikes in Australian waters are feared to be rising as escalating vessel traffic collides with growing whale numbers, particularly off the eastern states.
- first pic showing scars from a revolving propeller mark the skin of a humpback whale nicknamed Bladerunner. Photo: Ros Butt/Cat Balou Cruises
- second pic: An unknown fate awaited this humpback whale after a vessel sliced into its back off the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland. Photo: David Paton, Blue Planet Marine
- More: The Sydney Morning Herald