Please select your home edition
Edition
Mondo Travel - Americas Cup - 4885

Whale research - new techniques expand for non-lethal methods

by FishingBoating-World on 29 Jun 2014
A humpback whale breaches off American Samoa, a study site in the South Pacific. One of the sources of samples in this study was skin shed by breaching whales - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) © http://www.whoi.edu/
We all love to see a whale off the bow, but the the Japanese Government maintains that you have to kill a whale to do scientific research. Scientific institutions world wide disagree. A routine method has been collecting samples which were obtained from biopsy-collecting-darts that bounce off the whales' skin. Non-lethal research tools continue to expand with scientists from Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions proposing a new technique.

The International Court of Justice - in March 2014 ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as the Japanese government had claimed.

The Japanese had maintained that lethal methods, that is explosive harpoon grenades were needed to gather data on age and stomach contents and are planning to resume 'scientific whaling' next southern hemisphere summer.



However, there are now a range of non-lethal alternatives for data collection.

The criticism of Japan's research program which the court obviously agreed with was that the lethal research had not answered any meaningful questions in relation to the IWC's objectives, and that was a 'lack of testable hypotheses or performance measures'.

The 2013 Scientific Committee report stated 'that the special permit programs conducted by the Government of Japan...have not provided results relevant to the IWC and are unnecessary for the conservation and management of whales.'



Sollecting samples obtained from biopsy collecting darts that bounce off the whales' skin but important information can also be obtained from skin that naturally sloughs off when whales breach. Detailed population studies in these areas provided important details about the individuals involved, such as their age class and sex.

Now the range of non-lethal research tools continues to expand with scientists with Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions propose to use genetic techniques as a low-cost, quick way to collect near real-time knowledge of marine environmental conditions.



In a paper published in Science today, scientists from Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions, the University of Washington and the University of Copenhagen propose employing emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling techniques that could make assessing the biodiversity of marine ecosystems – from single-cell critters to great white sharks and whales– as easy as taking a water sample.

Genetic monitoring via a form of DNA, known as eDNA, that is shed into the environment by animals could overcome some of these issues.

eDNA is like a fingerprint left at a crime scene. This material may come from metabolic waste, damaged tissue or sloughed off skin cells. Once it is collected, scientists can sequence the DNA to create a fast, high-resolution, non-invasive survey of whole biological communities.

'The eDNA work is potentially a game-changer for environmental monitoring,' said Larry Crowder, a professor of biology at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, science director at the Center for Ocean Solutions and a co-author of the study. 'A number of laws require monitoring, but actually keeping tabs on large, mobile, cryptic animals is challenging and expensive.'

The cost of DNA sequencing is decreasing rapidly, a trend that has fueled eDNA studies in recent years.
'We wanted to know how to put these amazing new genetic tools to use,' said lead author Ryan Kelly, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions. 'Harnessing eDNA is a perfect example of how cutting-edge science can plug into many of the environmental laws we have on the books.'

Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportPredictWind.comMondo Travel - Americas Cup - 5785

Related Articles

Fifth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Jon Sanders is closing in on Reunion and Mauritius The west coast of Australia is now a long way behind. Then it was 3 reefs in the mainsail. Windy. A wind one gets in the region - history shows it has been the same over the past 400 years - Southerlies. Soon the wind bends. And we get the South East trades proper. For the first 1,000 Nautical Miles the Trades were what I expected. Very strong southerlies leaving the Australian shore (Shark Bay).
Posted on 2 Dec
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Beneteau Cup – A statement in family and time
Every other deity with a nautical interest seemed to sense the importance of the occasion and delivered in spades Flagstaff Marine delivered a terrific regatta to mark the 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour. It seemed fitting that Beneteau had two factory representatives there as well, headed up by Director, Beneteau Group Asia Pacific, Thibaut de Montvalon and also Asia Sales Manager, Beneteau Group Asia, Vianney Guezenec.
Posted on 28 Nov
Parlier reigns supreme in Hydrofoil Worlds
The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind. Whatever the shortcomings of the Fremantle Doctor on the first day of competition, were made up for in spades on day two, when the wind kicked in early at 15 knots and quickly built to 18 with gusts as high as 26. The Rockingham course is perfectly suited to such conditions. The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over the north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind.
Posted on 27 Nov
25th Beneteau Cup - Great weather. Great times. Great brand.
The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. Flagstaff Marine, together with regatta partners Sydney City Marine, Mark Anderson’s Boat Transport and d’Albora Marinas, can be very proud of the achievement, but it is the owners and crews who make it all possible. Here then are some of the pics of their day! Full report to follow…
Posted on 26 Nov
Ensign want to sell your boat!
Ensign have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. Ensign, one of Australia’s largest yacht brokers, have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. At their head office location at Main Beach, Queensland, they can offer amazing rates on berthing while the boat is on sale at their Marinas Cove Marina and that means great exposure.
Posted on 24 Nov
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov
Third Blog from onboard Perie Banou II
Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. It is 0830am here. 1030 in Western Australia. Windy. Rather Windy. Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. Barometer 1018 to 1020 whatever they are. Last night I tapped the barometer and it sorta went oops. 1015hPa. Blimey.
Posted on 18 Nov