Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

The empty sea

By John Fairfax - posted Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Whales are likely starving and entering dangerously shallow water in a desperate search for food. Whales are not immune to starvation.

The 650 plus pilot whales beached at Farewell Spit, New Zealand, provide 'canary in the coal mine' warning of the state of the world ocean.

There are a number of possible whale stranding scenarios.


Whales are air breathing mammals.

Mammals have instinct to avoid drowning.

A sick and weakened mammal can be expected to instinctively seek shallow water to avoid drowning.

Healthy whales appear to follow even one suffering in their pod.

Animal behaviour in a herd of goats is similar.

First-hand experience reveals when one goat in a mob of 25 is shot in a culling event the rest of the mob sometimes just stand there apparently stunned.


When another is shot the mob might remain without running away.

Then another and another and another can be shot and the remainder will continue to stay until only a few remain, then those run away.

Shark or killer whale mauling of whales likely also leads to weakness and stranding.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

17 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

John Fairfax is an underwater explorer.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 17 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy