Thursday, December 5, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I have had to find a new watering hole to photograph my duckies since I have recently moved and in this new place I was pleased to find some Eurasian Wigeon amongst the Mallards . It was beautiful day, except from the brisk cold winds that chilled the bones. It didn't affect the ducks though as they were preening and bathing away without a care in the world, it even gave a couple of nice shots of the feathers being blow which added a nice touch.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
On the eve of Saturday, 7 September 2013, during a strong storm, about 70 long-finned pilot whales (Globicehala melas) began stranding in the small harbour of Rif and along the northern coast of the Snæfellsness peninsula in the west of Iceland.
About 20 of these whales unfortunately died naturally or were killed by the local community. Some of the throats were obviously slit, however there is some debate whether this was to stop their suffering or so that they could start butchering the animals for their meat or maybe both.
It is Icelandic law that beached whales need to be reported to the police and they alert the relevant authorities. This did not happen and thus an investigation has begun. Most likely, the locals simply did not know they had to do this. Still, they wasted no time in cutting their share of the meat.
There was a time for most countries that a beached whale was considered a gift from god when food was scarce. Nowadays, most attitudes about consuming whale meat have changed and even become a taboo, yet Iceland still practices traditional ways no matter who and how many protest it.
On the Sunday a few friends and I decided to drive up there from Reykjavík to check out the situation. For me, it was a very sad sight for many reasons. Sad that the whales had a very stressful and traumatic end to their life, but mostly because I felt that a lot of the locals seemed to have no respect for the animals that lost their life. If the animals had died naturally and the locals wanted to eat the meat, if they don't mind feeding their children meat that could have high levels of PCB's and methyl mercury in, then why not but it was this total disrespect that really shocked me.
Children were jumping on the whale’s heads and tails, prodding them with sticks as the parents stood by laughing, one van even ran over a whale, maybe by accident but it looked to be on purpose with a group of onlookers in hysterics and even one very young calf was butchered with blood running down its smiley face.
This is not an Iceland you should be proud off. The earth provides us all with air to breathe, shelter to keep us dry and warm, water to drink and food to eat and we should respect and protect it and this should be also taught to future generations.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
As a Marine Biologist that has travelled the world and spent many days out on the ocean watching different species of cetacean doing incredible behaviours I thought I had seen it all. How was I wrong! On the 27th of July 2013 I went out from Hervey Bay, Australia with Blue Dolphin Marine Tours (www.bluedolphintours.com.au) and had one of the best whale encounters of my life. The Humpback Whales were sooooooo friendly that other boats had to come in to take over so they could get home in time, as they just wouldn't leave, so intent in playing with whom ever was around boat or whale. The best experience of my life :)
Sunday, July 14, 2013
When Elding went to WhaleFest in 2011 we were introduced to John Rumney that has been running swim with minke whale trips for 18 years and pioneered the swim with Minke Whale experience in Queensland (www.marineencounters.com.au). Once watching the presentation we were hooked and planned our excursion over a year in advance to guarantee a place. Once the time came and we were onboard the Undersea Explorer we found that we had picked a time when the weather was not at it's best, experiencing 30-40 knots each day but the Minke Whales seemed to love it as we were seeing them every day and even got in the water with them 3 of those days. In the end we saw 18-19 Minke Whales and 10 hours of interaction both in and out of the water. This is what I have to show for it...