Nothing sinister about recent whale strandings

12 November 2018 | Environment

Otis Finck - The recent spate of humpback whale strandings is no need for concern, says the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP).

Monique Laubscher of the NDP confirmed that members of the organisation attended to four strandings last month.

“We revisited a humpback which stranded in late June in order to retrieve the entire rack of baleen for later display in our environmental office. The first of the recent reported cases involved an adult humpback which was fairly decayed with no obvious signs of cause of death, and a reasonably fresh calf pygmy sperm whale.”

Laubscher said humpbacks beach for certain reasons and this usually happens due to injuries, illness or old age.

“Humpback whales are currently on their southern migration back to their feeding grounds and we have seen not only an increase in sightings, but also an increase in strandings. Although these seem unusual, it is largely as a result of the high number of whales which are currently moving along our coastline,” she explained.

She added that the strandings are a direct result of this phenomenon and is a natural occurrence.

“Although it is a sad sight to see, it is a natural process - much like in humans. Unfortunately the fate of a beached whale is poor, with these animals weighing tens of tons, and they aren't moved around easily.”

Archie van der Merwe, owner of Laramon catamaran and dolphin cruises, also confirmed that he came across large groups of whales moving off the coast last month.

“Fishermen catching snoek noticed the huge amount of migrating whales as well. The most of these animals (95%) were humpback whales and southern right whales (5%). We have between 80 and 140 sightings per year. This however cannot be packaged as a product and is just a bonus on a tour.”

Laubscher further said the NDP is working closely with local and international researchers to monitor the situation and doing its best to keep track of things.

The latest incident involved a young humpback whale which beached during the early morning hours between the bird island and Langstrand.

Laubscher confirmed the animal was a young specimen with a length of just over 9.3 metres which means it was a young animal in the sub adult range. “The other animals discovered previously were also in the same range.”

She explained that most of these animals are no longer with their mothers and are not mature as well.

“It was alive and died later in the day at about 11:00. It had no visible marks or injuries on the outside. It also did not have a high parasite load and appeared to be healthy. This means it suffered internal problems which could have been and injury or disease.”

Another humpback whale which became stuck in the harbour at the syncrolift died and washed ashore north of Langstrand after the carcass was towed around Pelican Point with the aim of having it decompose naturally and safely away from public beaches.

“This was an 11.5 metre female humpback whale, with multiple barnacles and cyamids attached on the skin. She had a clean cut to the dorsal fin, which we suspect happened before the animal died.”

A whale stranded at Solitude and died, while a dusky dolphin was found alive on the beach at Sandwich Harbour.

The dusky was successfully refloated and swam off.

Whale or dolphin strandings or sightings can be reported at 081 687 6461.

Similar News


Getting the town clean

3 weeks ago - 21 September 2019 | Environment

Swakopmund · Adolf Kaure Residents of all ages took take part in the national clean-up campaign today in various areas of Swakopmund.Participants were divided...

Fewer birds counted

2 months ago - 28 July 2019 | Environment

Iréne-Mari van der Walt Another edition of the Walvis Bay winter bird count was conducted recently with 40 volunteers braving the elements to partake...

Working towards a cleaner Namibia

2 months ago - 28 July 2019 | Environment

Walvis Bay • Leandrea Louw The National Solid Waste Management Advisory Panel held a meeting in Walvis Bay to discuss the proposed establishment...

Noem-Noem groet

3 months ago - 07 July 2019 | Environment

Irene-Mari van der Walt ’n Groep inwoners van Omaruru het hulle misnoë uitgespreek oor die afkap van hulle geliefde “Noem-Noem”. Een van die...

Heffings op plastieksakke help

3 months ago - 30 June 2019 | Environment

Hentiesbaai • Otis Finck Spar Hentiesbaai het onlangs N$15 000 aan vyf gemeen-skapsprojekte op die kusdorp geskenk. Die Spar Woestynskoonmaak-inisiatief het N$5 000...

Cleanest town battle heats up

4 months ago - 02 June 2019 | Environment

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw The harbour town Walvis Bay is one of four finalists in the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) Cleanest Town of the...

Twalaloka residents not impressed with mobile toilets

6 months ago - 01 April 2019 | Environment

Kuisebmond - Leandrea Louw - The approximately 2 000 residents of the Twalaloka settlement in Kuisebmond are unhappy about the fact that they have to...

A cleaner town, a cleaner Namibia

6 months ago - 25 March 2019 | Environment

Ondangwa, Oranjemund, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the four finalists out of 21 towns in the competition to become ‘Cleaner Towns of the Year’, launched...

World Wetlands Day celebrated

8 months ago - 11 February 2019 | Environment

Leandrea Louw - Walvis Bay Private High School was crowned the winner of the World Wetlands annual quiz competition at the coast. This year’s theme...

Holiday makers bag their trash

8 months ago - 28 January 2019 | Environment

SUBBED Otis Finck - The amount of garbage collected from beach areas between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund over the festive season has declined...

Latest News

Nog 'n hupstoot vir kankervereniging

10 hours ago | Local News

Swakopmund • Leandrea Louw Die Erongo-tak van die Kankerver­eniging van Namibië (CAN) het Saterdag sy grootste, jaarlikse geldinsamelingsveldtog, die Hats and Roses-geleentheid, op Swakopmund...

Vloot vier 15 jaar

10 hours ago | Events

Die Namibiese vloot het op 7 Oktober sy 15de bestaansjaar gevier en Saterdag 'n ope dag as deel van die feesvieringe gehou. Om die verrigtinge...

NamGreenWood help herwin

10 hours ago | Local News

Swakopmund • Adolf KaureDie Swakopmund-munisipaliteit het tydens sy maandelikse agendavergadering NamGreenWood Ent CC toestemming gegee om herwinbare materiaal van die Swakopmund-stortingsterrein te verwyder. NamGreenWood het...

N$120 miljoen. se

10 hours ago | Energy

Arandis • Adolf KaureVisepresident Nangolo Mbumba het onlangs Sertum Ener­gy Namibia se N$120 miljoen-sonkragaanleg by Orano se Trekkopje-myn ingewy. Die 5 megawatt- fotovoltaïese aanleg lê...

Tjivikua at the helm

10 hours ago | Local News

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) has welcomed its new chief executive officer, Mbahupu Tjivikua, who joined the team on 1 October. Tjivikua has rejoined...

BHL shortens road link between...

10 hours ago | Infrastructure

Walvis Bay • ContributedBuks Haulage Limited (BHL) has recently upgraded a 221km stretch of gravel road between Kaoma and Kasempa in Zambia to contribute to...

New terminal records improved container...

10 hours ago | Infrastructure

Walvis Bay • ContributedThe terminal division deployed at the new container terminal efficiently managed to record 27 moves per hour for the vessel...

Namibia takes on Kafue River...

10 hours ago | Fishing

Kafue, Zambia • Adolf KaureThe African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Regions 5 River Angling Competition took place at the ­Kafue National Park North in Zambia...


10 hours ago | Fishing

Tuesday, 15 October High 04:05Low 09:49High 16:12Low 22:10Wednesday, 16 October High 04:33Low 10:16High 16:40Low 22:38Thursday, 17 October...

Load More