Monday, March 2, 2009

Sea Shepherd - Faked Whale Media $$

Wagging the Conservation Dog

Did SSCS fabricate a sperm whale rescue story for Nine News - MSN?

We have talked a lot about Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and their efforts after 31 years to save whales.

While SSCS "devoted" claim their eco org is legitimate and actually saves animals acting as the guardians of wildlife, we maintain they have devolved into little more than a media machine that has gone off the rails, trading your hard won eco dollars for faked press releases and even less credible reality television shows.

SSCS media output has become so abjectly dishonest and fanciful that we're not surprised many governments and blogs like this one are taking a stance against Wagging the Conservation Dog for continued ineffective eco results.

Case in point - Where was the Steve Irwin Jan 22.2009?

If you ask Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research, Ness Pearce, the Steve Irwin was off the coast of Tasmania on the site of a horrific sperm whale stranding, with actual whale saving equipment on board. This weeks major media story from Australia and Sea Shepherd becomes even more poignant as Ms.Pearce goes on to say:

Sea Shepherd members travelled on their ship Steve Irwin to a mass beaching of more than 50 sperm whales on the Tasmania's northwest coast on January 22 — but they were told their help wasn't needed despite carrying marine scientists and expert whale-saving equipment on board.

"When we arrived there on the Steve Irwin, we found about eight guys standing around with nothing but a bucket and a hose," Ms Pearce said. "We asked if we could help and they said, 'No thanks, we're fine'." The crew members claim to have witnessed one man dismembering a dead whale with a chainsaw just metres from another that was still alive, causing the live mammal even more distress and suffering.

Faked News?

This actual quote and first hand reporting from Ms.Pearce makes for great news. Reading this one comes to the conclusion that Sea Shepherd cares about whales, is always there to help, and even carries around "expert whale saving gear". Additionally the local Park service employees (read local government) are put in a completely negative light after telling Sea Shepherd crew members "their help was not needed" not to mention the shady reference to the man with the chainsaw.

Now let's look at this same story from an actual Sea Shepherd blog post written by Shannon Mann, Merryn Redenbach and Wietse Van Der Werf. Here's what they say about the same stranding January 22.2009 complete with on site images of just three SSCS members milling about many dead whales laying on the sand. They also document where the Steve Irwin was at the time Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research claims in a first hand report it was off the coast of Tasmania at the sperm whale stranding:

Two days after we had waved off the Steve Irwin and its courageous crew, and as the ship again set sail for the icy waters of Antarctica (saving whales from Japanese hunters), we read in the Tasmanian papers about the mass stranding of sperm whales on Tasmania's north coast. We decided to hit the road and cross the island, hoping to arrive in time to assist the rescue operation in whatever way we could. While we organised a vehicle and downloaded news articles about the incident, we learned the full extent of the situation. Fifty female sperm whales were stranded on a sandbank off Perkins Island near Smithton, a small town on the very North Western corner of Tasmania. It was one of the biggest standings of its kind in Tasmania's history and with the size of the animals and the remote location, it was evident the rescue of the remaining live whales would be a daunting task.

Clearly these two media takes on the same event are wildly different. In fact there's no mention of Ms.Pearce even physically being at the stranding event, yet she is the voice of whale conservation authority in the media. The SSCS National Director for Research coverage of this event for the major media is filled with eco excellence, bravado, whale saving equipment, and the actual vessel Steve Irwin. Unfortunately the entire eco story was absolutely fabricated - classic Wagging the Conservation Dog. For what?

Your Money

Your money is important to the ongoing and unfortunately, global efforts, to roll back environmental disasters and unsustainable fisheries. Hundreds of NGO's are literally begging for donations to get serious and lasting work done. As we discovered first hand, donations to SSCS only Wag the Conservation Dog and do little to help move agendas forward or work with disparate groups for long term solutions.

SSCS has had 31 years to effect change. Faked eco news is the best they now have to offer the global eco movement.

If you want your donations to work, ensure whoever you donate to is transparent and can show metrics for success not just massaged eco news clips that cash in on the horror's of dead whales, seals, and sharks to fund more of the same.

Demand more from your eco org.

Editors Note: In the interests of fairness one might argue that the woman portrayed in the major media this week as SSCS National Director for Research is in fact a local, radicalized eco loon, who was pretending to the part of the SSCS organization. We cannot fathom how this woman could get the basic facts of a horrific whale stranding so wrong while actual boots on the ground told a completely different story of three well meaning "whale stranding media parachuters" who wanted to help, but realized they were late, without the equipment needed,the finances, or the manpower to effect any change at all.

Given the many bogus news events pumped out by SSCS over the past year - from faked assassination claims to hostage taking events, who knows what the real story is.

Suffice to say whatever SSCS says about it these days, they are probably dead wrong.


Anonymous said...

At first I thought you guys were full of shit, always slamming on SS.

Today I am a convert, nice reporting caught with their pants down. Wonder how long that blog post will stay there?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who's actually done a whale necropsy knows that chainsaw do jack-h-nothing. If the Sea Sheep claim they saw someone dismembering a whale with a chainsaw, then I can do nothing but assume they're lying through their teeth.

Anonymous said...

First class guys the great SSCS mystery how can do the Steve Irwin be in two places at the same time?

I think that means they want all of us to donate to them twice LOL!

shannon said...


I was at the whale stranding in Tasmania, had just come off the first leg of the Antarctic campaign and waved my fellow crew members good-bye. You would have to be a moron to think that we sailed the Steve Irwin up to the stranding. Me and two other crew members drove from Hobart to Smithton to assist.
The fact is... they removed the jaws of the dead whales with a chainsaw so that poachers would not come to steal the teeth. I have photos if you like.
Perhaps this site should check some facts before making such an absurd post. It's ridiculous to say the least. What wasn't funny, was watching the stranded sperm whales suffer and die an agonizing death. If anyone has any questions, please, just ask!

Shannon Mann
SS Crew Member who was not onboard the Steve Irwin for the second leg of the campaign... and who was at the sperm whale stranding.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...


Shannon, I do not doubt your take on the tragic events of Jan 22.2009 Your blog post was in earnest and very sad.

Your post made it very clear:

1.There was nothing you could do.

2. You had no whale saving equipment.

3. No local whale saving budget.

4. There were only three SSCS "volunteers" on site.

OUR POST is not about you (if you actually read it)it is about Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research, Ness Pearce and her bald faced media fabrications.

On the national news this week she claimed that in fact the Steve Irwin was on site Jan 22.2009 with actual whale saving gear. She goes on to spin a fantastic tale of a team of hard core whale savers turned away by evil park staff while a chainsaw rips through a dead whale.

As you so aptly pointed out:

"You would have to be a moron to think that we sailed the Steve Irwin up to the stranding."

We, young SSCS person, are not the morons. This is your eco org once again making up these wild stories to the national press (see the link) and for what?

Donations, donations, donations.

If an agency that takes public money pulled a completely faked media stunt like this - they would be stripped of funding.

This is no joke. This is caught red handed in a huge lie, one of many for national news media.

Your org continues to blatantly lie about it's operations and it's success and this has been going on for years.

If you are happy with that, if you accept Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research, Ness Pearce taking your real experience and regurgitating it to the major media full of lies and made up "facts" we cannot help you.

You, Shannon, are the agent of change. Make that change, your org is next to useless, stop being a SSCS eco patsy, start your own org.

Take all your energy and place into something new, better and real. You have the power to effect change, not be part of a faked eco media machine.

the One called "Bitey"... said...

Alternatives then?
Can anyone name a better, more effective organization to whom I should be giving money? (Fact of the matter - whalers, sealers, poachers are NOT constrained by a bunch of well-meaning hippies in other countries who hold street vigils and petitions. To blame SSCS for continued poaching - by the snide implication 'you haven't stopped whaling in 31 years' - is just dumb, folks.)
Is anyone else willing to hit the seas and blockade poaching ships, even sink them (yes! more of this, please!)?
I'm asking in alll honesty and sincerity - who can I find with a clear conscience?

Is there a better organization? Please tell me. And don't say Greenpeace, that's a poor excuse.

the One called "Bitey"... said...

(sorry - I meant "fund" with a clear conscience....)

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Great question(s) "Bitey".

Is it time to reevaluate the entire eco movement for 2011?


Will change to the eco movement take time?


Is there a replacement for SSCS?

No - not like them.

Are there other eco orgs doing great work, changing the playing field, working to enact laws?

Yes-look around, dig, ask questions. Look at the Maldives this week - SSCS was no where in sight and yet the entire chain of islands is now shark fishing free.

Who was behind that?

In 31 years SSCS has not stopped any of the killing, so if we have to go on eco hiatus for 2 while we reset nothing will have changed.

The bad guys will still be doing what they do, and the movement will have a fresh new game plan never seen before, with new faces and new media backing.

For the most part the movement is changing for the better - but 70's mindset orgs like SSCS are sucking the dollars, media, and positive perceptions out of the room.

That's our point. Like the Zombie Banks that are "too big to fail" SSCS has set themselves up as the only choice, they go and what do you have left?

That's a false assertion.

There are wonderfully talented, dedicated people out there, they just need to be empowered. They are the real agents of change.

Until SSCS looses the destructive 70's mindset of "radicalization at any cost" the entire movement remains in jeapordy.

Worse yet the SSCS model fosters other eco orgs "that do nothing" and make a lot of noise and I think you know who I am talking about.

Real change starts with realization. Let's work to educate the public about SSCS, pull aside the green curtain, and call them to task for every false, misleading, and fruitless eco effort they put forth only to pass the donation hat around after.

They are by proxy the big eco dogs - shouting to the heavens that they, by god given right, talent, and game plan deserve our money and media.

As we pointed out again this week they are simply a hollow org. If you have noticed since the Federal Police in Australia took all the video and production notes from SSCS they have dropped into radio silence. The reason?

The tapes and production notes from Whale Wars 2009 will, finally, pull aside the Green Curtain.

Our assumption? What is on those tapes will be explosive.

We know SSCS makes up facts and events out of whole cloth or adds "facts" to horrific events so they can ask for money.

What if they are also being directed by a reality film crew to ram vessels for ratings and advertising sales?

What is the death of whales helps sell another SUV from Ford, or pharma products from Pfizer?

Do you even begin to realize the real horror here?

We have only one thing to say to SSCS. Evolve.

We are watching.

Anonymous said...

This is a bit much. How can the SSCS get away with this?

I agree on your take. It is absolutely disgusting to see SSCS lying about tragic events for donations.

They are as bad as the whalers. What is worse killing whales, or making up whale stories for money?

The Steve Irwin was never there with whale saving equiptment.

This bullshit makes me very angry.

Anonymous said...

SSCS is a joke, lies and more lies and no action. Oh they do run around a lot and set themselves on fire well but where's the results?

I should get me a boat and go throw butter at people and then ask for money.

Better yet I should get a blog and post imagined whale saving garbage like Ms Pearce with 20% more "actual whale saving equipment".

Thanks for keeping these guys on target and all others who fake eco news like this.

Whaling is bad enough, so is the stranding of 50 sperm whales why imagine a rescue ship on site at all?

SouthernFriedScientist said...

You know, for the life of me I can't figure out what "expert whale-saving equipment" is.

Anonymous said...

More of the same from the loons and goons at SS. It is no wonder they have a vessel in Canada right now being held for auction and another in Tasmania being held as well.

Who is this woman they quote Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research, Ness Pearce?

I looked her name up on google and nothing came up, one email with her name in Sydney attached to tickets for a SS auction and that was all.

How is it she gets to be on channel nine news MSN of all places spilling this lie out like hard fact?

Again classic, the expert whale saving gear take on this entirely bogus news report is what got me.

Keep it up someone will notice.

Oh, and Shannon, read first before you give these guys anything more to blog about! lol

Anonymous said...

There have been several misquotes in the original article you are referring to in this story.
Firstly, there was no official interview by myself, Vanessa (Ness) Pearce, a conversation was had with a producer from Msn to organise an interview with SSCS crew that were travelling to King Island, Tasmania to assist with the current stranding. This has somehow become 'a news story' in itself. Wagging the dog indeed.
At no point did I say The Steve Irwin was at the sperm whale stranding in January 09, though there were crew from The Steve Irwin there as per
to quote what has been misrepresented..
Sea Shepherd members travelled on their ship Steve Irwin to a mass beaching of more than 50 sperm whales on the Tasmania's northwest coast on January 22 — but they were told their help wasn't needed despite carrying marine scientists and expert whale-saving equipment on board. -- FALSE
On January 22nd the Steve Irwin vessel was travelling back on its way to Antarctica to confront the Japanese Whaling Fleet. Crew members that were on the ship, who got off the first leg did travel to the area to assist.
"When we arrived there on the Steve Irwin, we found about eight guys standing around with nothing but a bucket and a hose," Ms Pearce said. "We asked if we could help and they said, 'No thanks, we're fine'." -- FALSE
Once again, the Steve Irwin was on its way back to Antarctica.
Any references to what occured at the sperm whale stranding site are from the article on the site, not from me, I was not there.
What I did say was:
It is unusual to have whales and dolphins stranding together.
the 48 sperm whales at Perkins Island 26 Jan 09 , are a few kms from Anthonys Beach @ Stanley where 64 pilot whales stranded on Nov 22 08 and about 80 kms away from Sandy Cape where 155 pilot whale stranded on Nov 29 08.
461 whales stranded within 16 weeks, 267 within 100 odd kms of each other, the other 194 on an adjacent island. I feel this warrants further investigation into sonic activity in the area..
Though it was not said in an interview environment, it was said to explain to the producer why SSCS members were heading to the stranding site to assist.
This information has been confirmed in this article
Mark Simmonds, of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and an expert on cetacean strandings, said that two species coming ashore together was enough to arouse suspicions of a human factor, including the use of sonar by the military.
“To get more than one species is unusual,” he said. “When you do, you get more suspicious because it means that they might have been driven. It does make us worried. We are certainly going to call for a very thorough investigation.”
Military sonar has been strongly linked to several strandings, particularly of deep-diving species such as pilot whales. Other human noises that could have frightened or disorientated the animals include industrial activities.
end quote
I am from Sydney Chapter SSCS and I do research coord, I am not the National Research Director/Coordinator, or however else I have been described. I was with the Australian Director of SSCS at the time I was on the phone organising media interviews for SSCS crew travelling to stranding site, and I did ask him if there was any other info we could send the producer regarding the sperm whale strandings, to which he replied 'I ll email HO and find out'. At this point no further information regarding the sperm whale stranding has been sent.
It appears that exaggerations and misquotes are relatively commonplace in the media, and can cause a great deal of trouble.
Kind Regards
Vanessa (Ness) Pearce.

shannon said...

Thanks you Vanessa for clearing this up. I'm astonished that the media could report such blatant lies. There was nothing on the SS site about the ship being there... and, we were the only three crew members in Tasmania to go to the stranding (b/c the ship had left).

I did not say we had whale saving equipment but would have stayed night and day with buckets - which is what we offered to do. If they couldn't be rescued, surely they should have been comforted.

Vanessa, we should contact the person who wrote that article and demand an apology.

It makes me really sad to hear all of this criticism of SS. There was no fabrication in our recount of the stranding, in fact, we could have said a lot more to the media about the stranding but chose to be non-confrontational.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon,
We are onto the producer today.
It is unfortunate that such stories are printed, there are so many valid current issues to report, the truth is interesting enough.
The idea I said The Steve Irwin was at the sperm whale stranding is just silly, we all know where the ship was, it was being reported constantly in the news.
Generally I dont participate in bloggs/forums as there is a great deal of misinformation, venom and venting and I have rarely witnessed anything positive born from them. Opinions are like bottoms, everyone has one and they are not always pretty (or well informed), in saying that, I respect those who choose to communicate in these mediums and hope doing so fulfills their need to communicate their feelings.
I have posted here to relay the truth of the matter only.
I am deeply concerned this misinformation has created any negative opinions for SSCS as they continue to do exceptional work internationally.
Kind Regards

Anonymous said...

Shark Diver, it does seem to me like you are jumping to conclusions very quickly here. All of it is based on one article, from MSN news, not really the most respected media around.

Firstly, I had my doubts about the article but now I've read what Shannon and Vanessa had to say about it and read some of the post at the time from the Sea Shepherd website, I'm pretty convinced it was the person who put together the article that's at fault.

Furthermore, looking at the Sea Shepherd website, there has been a consistent story of where the ship is and what the intentions were ie. returning back to Antarctica.

Secondly, I always find it interesting how people have opinions on things when they haven't got to the bottom of them first. It's so easy to criticize from behind the keyboard. Do you really know about Sea Shepherd? Have you met any of the people who work on the ship? I went to the ship mid January when it was in port in Hobart and it was an eye opener to me. Although I read your blog now and then and take note of your criticisms, I have to say I think you're pretty misinformed on this issue.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

No so fast Ms.Pearce Shannon et al.

As we pointed out in our follow up this week:


The simplest answer to this he said/she said is the most likely. Channel 9 - MSN had nothing to gain by fabricating a whale story filled with whale saving gear, the Steve Irwin, and marine biologists. Additionally MSN reporter Sean Cusick has nothing to gain by adding deep story fabrications such as SSCS organizational titles for Ms.Pearce calling her Sea Shepherd’s National Director for Research.

On the flip side for an eco org that constantly seeks donor money, and who have willfully fabricated many eco storylines from elements of Whale Wars to an attempted assassination claim and video last season, this national news piece is in line with their ongoing disinformation campaign.

Wagging the Conservation Dog.

Our point is simple. Your org has done little to effect real and lasting change and now "makes up media" for eco donations.

It is time someone pointed this out. We have.

Please stop the post spin and finger pointing and instead look inward. Make changes from within and rebuild SSCS into a credible org.

After 31 years your credibility is at an all time and sad low.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on!

This comment thread just got the good old sock puppet by three SSCS people who wrapped up this "whole media misunderstanding" in a nice little bow.

These are not "misquotes" from a rabid reporter Sea Shepherds.

This is a goddamn lie about a faked flagship vessel and crew who were never on site of a mass whale stranding with whale saving equipment in the first place.

Why would you lie about that, why would you lie about who you are Ms.Pearce?

Also you deliberately made the local park service guys look like the bad guys as well, why would you do that?

And you wonder why regular folks like me are turning on Sea Shepherd?

You have lost my money and support this week.

shannon said...

If you will notice, the media have actually pulled their story and another with the correct information, they say, will be posted. I just wouldn't do this had they not messed up.
Everyone knows where the ship is at all times, it makes no sense for us to try to say it was elsewhere. As well, there is nothing that I or Vanessa as volunteers or anyone else would gain by trying to mislead people.

Anonymous said...

I've looked for the article, it has been withdrawn by the media now. I contacted SS and they said they media have pulled the story b/c of the inaccuracies and will be posting another based on truth.

I guess we shouldn't be so quick to judge when clearly this was a case of the reporter messing up.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Wow, two responses from the same IP Address thanks for the continued Sock Puppetry SSCS.

What "if" this story and Vanessa's quotes were on tape?

What "if" her additional phone calls to the reporter were also on tape?

The story is what it is. Your folks lied, there's no wiggle room here.

Being caught in an outrageous lie is something. Compounding that lie with others is classic SSCS.

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this on ur blogg but wasnt able to get it on there, maybe better luck this time. Shannon too tried to repost and the same thing happened to her, she thought she had been blocked so attempted to post anon in case it was a 'blocked' issue. Then both posts appeared.
Here s what i tried to post:
The story has been pulled, and another with the correct information relayed will be done.
I believed i was talking to an exec producer to org Gemma Pitcher to do interviews for crew on the island, as Ive mentioned previously, I dont do interviews, I set them up for crew. I have done this many times before. The 'story' referred to is a garbled mess of information re the pilot whale stranding in Tas, a write up on the SSCS site and simple 'reinterpretation' by media. At no point did I say the Steve Irwin was at the sperm whale stranding or that there were marine bios and the like onboard. Thats just silly. The where abouts of the Steve Irwin is widely known as it is monitored closely by the media, and there is a film crew onboard.I did discuss the story referred to on the SSCS site briefly and org for HO to be contacted regarding further material (at this point no further info has been sent). I have nothing to gain by telling untruths re who I am (I dont think the position referred to in the 'story' even exists within SSCS) or where the ship was (tho i have little doubt you ll make up some reasons for me) and niether does SSCS, the comments regarding funding are silly also, how would any of these comments create funding. Guys, say what you like about me with the nasty comments and slanderous implications, but dont debate where the Steve Irwin was or whether that was said. Pretty much everyone knows where the vessel was, as it is closely monitored by the media and has a film crew onboard. It appears looking at previous bloggs of yours that this isnt the first time you ve written negative and slanderous words regarding SSCS and you re entitled to your opinions, even if they are based on misinformation.
Mistakes happen in the media, its not the first time and unfortunately it probably wont be the last.

Ive checked through media contacts to see if the conversation was recorded as that would clear things up, though apparantly (and unfortunatly) the media arent allowed for these conversations to be recorded.
I dont understand what joy or amusement u guys glean from this, a simple mistake in the media, it happens frequently in many areas of reporting. But u seem to be having fun with it and only those on ur frequency take it seriously.
Ness Pearce

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...


Your spin is admirable and I am sure you are in this as deeply as it gets within SSCS. In fact you and I both know that is the case.

Please stop posting here with your post event media retractions. The folks over at Nine MSN are less than pleased - as are those who see this for what it is a "Big Eco Donor Lie".

WE broke this story.If it was as false as you allude why didn't you break it?

You had the misguided misfortune to continue to believe that SSCS can make up any eco story at any time, anywhere, and feed it to the public.

The major media swallows what you have to say because it is full of exactly what you feed them, drama, and did you ever lay it on thick last week.

We are under no constraints here. We do not have to sell adverts and so we will continue to call it when you throw it.

This faked whale rescue story was a whopper even by Paul "The Japanese shot ME" Watson's standards and a gross miscarriage of eco donors trust and good will.

If you think we enjoy "playing gotcha" you are once again on the wrong side of things. I wish SSCS did what it said it was doing.

This blog will continue to call it when you throw it. Stop faking eco news and we'll have no reason to point it out.

Anonymous said...

Shark Diver,

I dont know what or who your referring to in your first two sentences, dont bother explaining, it will just be more of the same Im sure.
Ive monitored the info written on your site for a while as it comes up on searches I have, Ive never commented before, regardless of the odd misinformation you go on relentlessly about, in this case it was personal, so i did.
Your stories will no doubt continue to come up on these searches and I ll continue to get a giggle from them and as I said, I only commented as it was personal.
Thanks for the merry go round and your generous offer to disengage.

Anonymous said...

My apologies, I made a mistake in saying 'the first two sentences' in my previous post, I meant the first three sentences.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Take it outside Ms.Pearce your stage time has run it's course.

Anonymous said...


What reporter, who valued keeping his job, would make up a quote like this one up on national news?

"They are socially advanced animals, so imagine the stress on a beached mammal with one of its pod being hacked to pieces alongside it. The end result is one of the most horrific sights I have seen and the carcasses are still there in a blood pool that runs over a kilometre."

You guys have exposed a massive fraud by SSCS. It kind of defies imagination, until you realize the whole fetid thing came from SSCS imagination.

Thanks for blogging about this.

Anonymous said...

Why would the media pull their story then? Maybe because he does value his job and it was incorrect. That is the sensible explanation.

What conservation does Shark Divers do again?

Seems to me like you're a bunch of pathetics here who can not form reasonable thoughts. Again people who spend to much time on the bench criticising others when you don't do a thing yourselves.

I think you, shark divers, are the ones caught with your pants down and you're too obnoxious and pig headed to admit it. Shame.

Because you can't form rational thought, I'm done here.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...


O.K Vanessa and SSCS we'll make this easy for you. Let us agree (if we can) that today is Saturday March 7 2009 (it is).

For the past three days SSCS "members" and assorted camp followers have been on this thread saying the Nine MSN article is down.

Go to this link and put it in your browser. WHAT do you see?:

This is not magic SSCS this is reality, which gets to our point.

SSCS lies ad hoc and even when those lies are exposed (like just now) they continue to do so revealing a deep and may we suggest scary, psychosis. You folks literally do not see what is right in front of you.

FYI: Here is the complete, original and fake whale saving article - once again taken from Nine MSN, today March 7 2009.

By Sean Cusick, ninemsn

Today's mass beaching of whales and dolphins at King Island was caused by seismic exploration, a whale conservation expert claims.

Locals at Naracoopa have worked since dawn to save the 54 whales and six dolphins which were still alive this morning.

About 140 pilot whales have already died on the beach — but this afternoon it emerged that all six dolphins have been returned to the water.

See more: Mass stranding in Tasmania.

The state of Tasmania has experienced about 540 beachings in the past 22 weeks, including four mass strandings in the past three months - and to make matters worse, many rescue efforts are ineffective and cruel, the crew of whale conservation group Sea Shepherd says.

"Dolphins don't beach. It just doesn’t happen unless an individual has a brain disorder. So to get so many whales and dolphins stranded at once is extraordinarily unusual," Sea Shepherd’s national director for research, Ness Pearce, said.

"When you find that the areas where the animals are commonly stranded are those where there is coal, oil and gas exploration going on through the use of siesmic activities, there is undoubtedly something going on here other than nature."

Sea Shepherd members travelled on their ship Steve Irwin to a mass beaching of more than 50 sperm whales on the Tasmania's northwest coast on January 22 — but they were told their help wasn't needed despite carrying marine scientists and expert whale-saving equipment on board.

"When we arrived there on the Steve Irwin, we found about eight guys standing around with nothing but a bucket and a hose," Ms Pearce said. "We asked if we could help and they said, 'No thanks, we're fine'."

The crew members claim to have witnessed one man dismembering a dead whale with a chainsaw just metres from another that was still alive, causing the live mammal even more distress and suffering.

"They are socially advanced animals, so imagine the stress on a beached mammal with one of its pod being hacked to pieces alongside it. The end result is one of the most horrific sights I have seen and the carcasses are still there in a blood pool that runs over a kilometre."

Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries and Water confirmed they are investigating whether any seismic activity may have interfered with today's stranded animals.

"As a matter of protocol … the government touches base with both defence and the oil and gas industry to determine whether there is any naval exercises or exploration taking place in the area before the stranding," spokeswoman Rosemary Gales said.

"With strandings everybody has a theory … It's not typical for dolphins to become stranded with whales but it has happened several times in the past."

Ms Gales said there was no naval activity in the area but the department is yet to confirm if any exploration was taking place at the time of the beaching.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

To All,

Thanks for posting this thread is now closed. We have reached the end if useful comments.

Stay tuned for updated on other posts.

JP said...

Hello Ness, Shannon and Shark Diver,
Ok Here is 1 little opinion. I am a 29 year old business owner living in Orlando Florida. I have watched all of the Whale Wars and have followed all of your blogs. This actually became interesting to me. I have some opinions.

1. Shark Diver. I vreally think that you have also jumped to conclusions here and your anger does not give reason a chance. They kindly explained the truth and I did read actual articles and Shannon and Ness were telling the truth. I honestly can not stand Paul. I think he is filled with dishonesty and is just grabbing for donations and YES Shannon and Ness you have to admit that he does lie. Come on now he got shot/ LOL

2. Shannon and Ness, I think that you to really do care and are just following the movement in the best way that you know how. I think all of them are. I think they really do care and just follow Paul. I do not blame anyone else trying to help but I do blame that lame excuse of a man Paul.

Good People following some moron.

The wierd thing is I found this site with intentions of finding a site that I can support to actually help the Nisho Muru or whatever the names are. I feel bad for those guys and want to actually help them. OK OK I know killing whales is not the best thing but its from a different country and there are so many so many so many more important things that the world needs help with right now.
HIV, the economy, pollution are things that are KILLING HUMANS not whales. uummm lets stop killing humans and then lets worry about that OK...With much Love to ALL..