We have a new poster for our Center, you find it on our facebook blog
please help us to distribute it and send people to us! Thank you!
We support Sea Shepherds campaign to stop the killing of pilot whales in the Faeroe Islands= Grindstop2014!
We cannot accept that so called “tradition”, we write the year 2014 and hurting, enslaving and killing of humans and non-human species cannot be called and justified by tradition any longer!! We have to move out of the dark age and be gentle, or at least honest with all living beings (including ourselves).
you find our full statement here
On the 27th and 28th of May 2014 we found more than 6 different pods of pilot whales, in total 250-300 individuals. On the first day there were only 3 pods and around 100 animals, waiting, milling between Skrova and Moholmen. The following day we found them again a bit further north-east, behind Skrova milling, feeding and waiting. In the evening more pods arrived and the numbers exceeded 200 individuals. When all the members arrived, they started moving deeper into the Vestfjord and we left them at the height of Inglesøy. The following day they were gone and we have never seen them again. On 2nd of June pilot whales were seen in the Andfjord and looking at the pictures I could identify them at once, those were the same animals, so they must have traveled there in less than 5 days. Pilot whales can swim up to 200km a day and it is no surprise that they have moved further into the fjord and up north into another deep fjord, probably to feed, since seismic airgun shots from boats working for the oil industry in Norway could be heard inside the Vestfjord during those days.
However i recognised 3 groups from before and especially a young female with a nick showed curious behavior, as she did the years before!
Here is our first video (taken by Karolin), and I wish I could understand their language…
Pilot-Whales in Norway
Selected pictures from that day:
We opened our new Ocean Sounds center today and showed our slide show for visitors!
It is located at Heimgårdsbrygga, in the middle of Henningsvær, next to the Joker supermarket on the peer.
We still work on the info-center, but the slide show room is finished, just come by and ask!
you find more information about the renovation and our activities on our facebook side..
see you soon!
News from Henningsvær: spring has come with cod migrating to Lofoten for their yearly spawning and eider ducks pairing up in the harbour and around the small islands. we even have a group of at least 7 pairs of king eider ducks, of which the males are very colourful. They can easily be spotted from land in between the other eider ducks (see pictures).
Our new Research Center is also coming along, the windows, roof & chimney are set and now we only miss isolation and interior work. We expect to move in after Easter
More to that as renovation proceeds…
Since November a lot of whales can be seen very close to land from Tromsø-Senja-Andfjord. Mostly Humpback whales and orcas are there to feed on the over-wintering herring, but fin whales and pilot whales can also show up.
In Norway no whale watching regulations exist, after the wild whale watching activity in Tysfjord and Lofoten in 2005-2007, we developed guidelines together with the WWF in the hope that people would understand and follow them for their own safety but also for the protection of the whales. Whales are easily disturbed by boat noise and close approaches of boats.
However, there are differences between boats and approaches, noisy boats, like large and fast (RIB) motorized boats should approach very slowly in order to minimize the underwater noise and if possible should shut down the engines when they are with the whales. Noisy boats, when going slowly can easily be heard by the whales and they will know exactly where you are even when it is dark.
Silent boats like sailing boats and kayaks are very different, because the whales cannot locate the boats with their listening skills and especially under low light conditions, like the Arctic winter, or while they are busy with feeding. Special caution is therefore given when you approach whales with silent boats in order to avoid collision! Knocking at the kayak or making noise on the sailing boat does help!
Unfortunately not everybody is following caution, a video from a German kayaker shows what can happened if you do not keep a safe distance and want to get into the middle of the action. This irresponsible whale watching is not only dangerous for the kayaker themselves, but also for the whales. If something happens to the people, the Norwegian government might persecute radical measurements, which could terminate whale watching all together!
So please, show respect and keep a safe distance to the whales when you go whale watching, there are many companies that are respectful to the whales, you may want to join them, because they have a lot of experience.
In 2014 we will conduct research on best practice of whale watching and marine wildlife tourism in northern Norway and we welcome any recommendation from you. If you want to share your experiences or your concerns, please send them to us on facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our goal is to be able to give recommendations, advice and create guidelines for specific vessels, actions and whale species under different behaviors.
2014 has started with a whole row of challenges, with the most important one being: how to find 9 000 Euro to pay off the boat loan that is due in April 2014?
Without the boat our research projects will stop!
Any ideas? Donations are very welcome!!
… and we are still waiting for our new center, renovations are moving forward, but it is far from completed, let us hope all will go well and we will be able to move in late spring.
For now, all we can do is wait and look out for possibilities...
During the past days herring was moving southwards coming closer and closer to Lofoten from Tromsø. and today Orcas were seen from Unstad on the outside of Lofoten. Fishermen report a lot of herring and different whales that seem to pass Lofoten on the north side and move south to their spawning grounds in Møre and Romsdal. Strong eastern winds make it impossible to go there with our boat right now and we have to wait until the wind calms down….
If you see the whales from land or you have collected photos and videos earlier, please share them with us for our research projects. Any help is more than welcome! We have been studying whales in Lofoten since 2003 and have a big database of photos, sightings and sound. But we need to update it all the time to understand the whales migration patterns and surviving rates.
pleas send us an email (email@example.com) or contact us on facebook.
For our different research projects we depend on the help of others that have seen marine mammals and have taken pictures of them!
It is impossible for us to cover the whole area of Lofoten and northern Norway, and even other places of the North East Atlantic (we can’t be in all places at the same time .
In general we are looking for sightings of marine mammals around Lofoten and the Vestfjord to monitor abundance and changes of distribution of marine mammals throughout the year (to know who is where and when, so we can identify why). We want to study what influences their distribution pattern and whether we can predict future sightings. This can help to further study their biology and understand their behavior, but also for people to find and observe them in the wild (responsible whale watching). Marine mammals are top predators and it can show us something about changes in the environment, and correlate it to climate change.
We will inform you about new findings and results.
We collect pictures for our different Photo-identification catalogs:
The largest catalog is our Killer whale Photo-ID catalog, which holds over 700 individuals.The next growing Photo-ID catalog we have is from long-finned pilot whales, which consist of over 300 individual whales.
And we hold a smaller catalogs for Atlantic white sided dolphins and harbor porpoises.
Please, if you have seen killer whales, pilot whales or dolphins in Norway, we ask you kindly to share them with us for our Photo-ID catalogs. The pictures will strictly be used for our research projects!
email us: firstname.lastname@example.org